APRIL 2015 • FREE
General Election Special
OFFICIAL MAGAZINE OF STUDENT’S UNION ROYAL HOLLOWAY
Letter from the Editor Catriona O’Sullivan @catrionalenses
@theorbitalrhul /orbitalmagazine @theorbital
I am extremely proud to present to you the UK General Election 2015 special. My second issue as editor, we have continued to progress on the re-design, which will hopefully be clearer to navigate, appealing to more of the student population, and easier on the eye. This issue has been written and sent to print during a time where politicians left, right and centre (ha) are throwing out panic manifesto points, making rushed decisions, doing back-room deals and political point-scoring on a crazed scale. We have a fantastic summary of the UK political party policies by Lucy Campbell, which might help you make your mind up, clarify a policy that you didn’t know about, or maybe even make you realise that you don’t agree with something that your party stands for. These policies were correct at the point of printing. The results of an Orbital survey on political views, taken by hundreds of Royal Holloway students, are published here in an array of snazzy infographics and charts - and might well make for interesting reading. Interviews with those voted in during the recent Royal Holloway Student Union election are on page X, and these interviews are paired with comment on the SU – and rightly so. The Students Union states clearly its emphasis on working “for the students”. This is the official magazine of the student union, so then it is only right that we allow this to be a platform for all views, including those critical of the SU, and hold the SU to account. We have a celebration of student political and minority groups on campus, and some really interesting interviews that give us an insight into the spectrum of student views on the UK general election. There are even Royal Holloway students actually standing as local candidates so we have picked their brains too. I am extremely happy to have a Cultural & Interfaith calendar in this issue, as I am passionate about making this magazine both representative of all the different groups on campus, but also a way for students to become more aware of the real diversity that we are surrounded by, to respect it and learn more. Lastly I want to thank Holly Pyne for the idea of an ‘election special’, and for the strong role that she has taken in the various election features. I also want to congratulate Laura Denham for winning the role of Deputy Editor with over 700 votes, and for winning Best Section Editor at the Societies Ball – she has been amazing, again, in the creation of this issue. So no matter which way you vote in this election, I urge you that you do.
www.theorbital.co.uk Orbital, Students’ Union, Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham, Surrey TW20 0EX
CONTENTS news page 8
news page 7
features pages 15-16
lifestyle page 50
feature page 14
sports & societies page 54
arts and entertainment pages 31-32
The truth behind the headlines. We speak to friends of missing student Zubair Nur to find out about the real person beyond the sensationalist headlines.
t the end of last term the news broke nationally that a student of Royal Holloway, Zubair Nur, had gone missing, prompting Scotland Yard to launch an official investigation, fearing he may be en route to Syria to join extremist fighters. At the Orbital we were unsure of whether to publish the article detailing the little facts we had gleaned from limited media coverage, over Zubair’s disappearance. Other student and national publications have since received negative feedback online, with people accusing their writers of allowing racial and religious prejudiced views to permeate their articles, and of not conveying a fair story of what ultimately amounts to a desperately sad and confusing time for students who were friends of Zubair during his first term at Royal Holloway. In light of this, we wish to attempt to tell the story behind the headlines, with the help of those who knew Zubair well, and have experienced frustration at the limited reporting of the press over his disappearance. Zubair, Zubs to those that knew him well, was studying Petroleum Geology in his first year, and in the short term he attended Royal Holloway, had built up a strong group of friends. Dom, a course mate of Zubair explains that ‘he was very relaxed and never took life too seriously, which was very refreshing in a degree that you definitely have to work hard for. He was a gentlemen too, he’d often pick up my coat for me and he had a great sense of humour, a brilliant laugh, an infectious smile, and a warm and calming voice.’ The geology student also went on field trips with his friends, and participated in a team for a sporting event organized by New Lyell society. Not living on campus, instead commuting from home to University each day, Zubair made a real effort to feel part of the university and the friendship group he had established, friends have commented that ‘he got on with anyone he spoke to.’ It was reported in the national media that Zubair’s behaviour had changed in the weeks before his disappearance, with his social media accounts displaying a greater interest in fundamentalist ideology. However, when asked if his behaviour had at all changed in the run up to his disappearance his course mate explained that ‘If we ever asked Zubair about his religion,
then he was always happy to explain aspects about it that we wanted to know about, but it wasn’t something he constantly talked about. From a mutual friend, he sometimes would talk about extremist groups, but they didn’t think anything of it at the time, however I never heard him speak anything about an interest in them directly myself. He was very open about himself, his ethnicity and his religion and openly joked about them sometimes, it was all very relaxed in our friend group.’ The media coverage of Zubair’s disappearance has upset many students at Royal Holloway. With headlines such as ‘Islamic State: student feared to have joined group’ depicting a fall from grace of a student who was once deputy head boy, the general consensus amongst his university friends is that the press have ‘dehumanised’ a hardworking and caring student. Dom comments that the coverage, as with the coverage of other recent disappearances, has been ‘very accusatory and incriminating with insuffient evidence. The minute they go ‘missing’ they seem to be treated like objects, they suddenly lose their identity and just become another statistic. They lose all their history, their friends, their achievements and their qualities as a person.’ Another friend felt like ‘he was used as a scapegoat by the media for being a young Muslim.’ They further commented that ‘The media had no proof that he went to Syria, just a hunch. I feel that he and his family deserve better than that. If it does come out that the media were correct then it is a warning that anybody can be brainwashed into warfare; a larger issue.’ Zubair’s friends at Royal Holloway hope he is safe and that the reason for his suspected disappearance is entirely false. Whether this turns out to be the case or not, they will remember him ‘not as an object to speculate about, nor a traitor, but a young student and a friend’, that they hope will return unlike the media have suggested. They hope also that future media coverage will remember this and that he is treated and portrayed fairly, for his own sake, his family’s sake and for all those that remember his time at Royal Holloway fondly.
SU to Lobby College over New Library Name
At the general meeting on March 10th, a motion was passed to lobby the college to name the new library after one of our most famous alumni, Emily Wilding Davison.
The motion, proposed by Feminist Society’s Antonia King and seconded by 10 high profile members of the Students’ Union, aims to preserve the memory of Emily, whom stepped in front of King George V’s horse at the Epsom The new library on campus, due to open in Derby and died of the injuries she suffered mid-2017, remains as yet unnamed. The therein. planning has been under way for some time now, with construction due to begin in the autumn of 2015. The build involves moving the ‘...the university will continue to college shop from its current position to an as find ways to honour our suffrayet, undisclosed location. gette history.’ Royal Holloway shares a proud history for women and the suffragette movement, being officially opened in 1886 by Queen Victoria as an all-women college with Bedford College, another former all women’s college. Emily Wilding Davison herself was a student at Royal Holloway College in 1891 after winning a bursary from Kensington High School, studying Literature and Modern Foreign Languages. As a vocal activist in the name of women’s suffrage, Emily was jailed on no less than nine occasions and force-fed 49 times.
H Eloïse Beverley of RHUL Feminist Society was pleased to hear the motion passed and hopes ‘that the university will continue to find ways to honour our suffragette history’. Only time will tell whether or not the college will heed the Student Unions lobbying that not enough is being done to raise awareness of this history and is even erasing it; for example; recently changing the College colours from the suffragette purple-white-and-green to orange and black.
An Egham Pandemic
all made the painful mistake of buying too much food shopping when we’ve been to Tescos...then we visit the alcohol aisle. 1 litre of Bacardi is on offer and next thing you know you need big bottles of mixers - got to have enough for the house prinks - and your trolley is very full and very heavy. How will you carry all of this home? Even between two or three of you it’s a struggle that your workouts at the gym don’t seem to be helping. So why not just wheel the trolley home with you? It was your pound that unlocked it and therefore you may as well get adequate use from it, right? Well, there’s a reason or two why taking the trolley home with you is not the most sensible idea.
“I couldn’t get round to my house because they were in the middle of the road"
Are you really going to bring that trolley back to Tescos when you’re done with it? No, you’ll probably dump it somewhere and hope that Tesco somehow realises and comes to collect their good. Who really cares about the pound once you have your shopping home after all. We’ve all done it, or contemplated doing it, but recently
there have been a number of complaints of trolley build ups around Royal Holloway and in the Egham residential area. The issue has been reported by a number of Egham residents, many having lived in the town longer than some of us have been alive. Residents put up with our occasionally excessive noise as university students, but they should not, they argue, have to put up with being unable to get into their houses because of a build up of trolleys outside their front door. Speaking to Get Surrey Karen Andrews, 45, reported that so many trolleys had built up outside of her house that “I couldn’t get round to my house because they were in the middle of the road”. Some however have argued that students are being used as scapegoats in the trolley build up saga around Egham. It is not simply the fault of students, residents have also complained to Tesco and Runnymede Council to try and get trolleys collected and brought back to the store; it is legally Tescos responsibility to reclaim any stolen trolleys.
The College is now requesting that students return any misplaced trolleys, and if they are causing you a problem then you can get in contact with the college at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01784 276612 or 443394.
Royal Holloway launches plan to transform campus Royal Holloway has unveiled its new estate plan, which aims to develop the College’s historic estate and provide a 21st century campus that meets the needs of modern students. The plan, which will lead to the most ambitious campus development since the completion of the Founder’s Building in 1886, includes the creation of new study, living and teaching spaces, the refurbishment of existing areas and the addition of sympathetic modern features to Victorian buildings.
can now be viewed online, along with updates about the estate plan projects that are about to get underway. Find out more at royalholloway.ac.uk/estateplan.
Just before Easter, students and staff were invited to an exhibition in the Windsor Building, which showcased the College’s upcoming plans. There they were able discover images and drawings of the new Library and Student Services Centre, new Student Residences north of the A30, the refurbishment of Royal Holloway’s London campus at Bedford Square and more. The exhibition
Volunteer at a momentous event in our history On Sunday 14 June, Royal Holloway’s Egham campus will host an action-packed, fun, free festival to celebrate liberty and democracy. We live in a time when all those over the age of 18 are free to vote in this year’s general election. Although many won’t take up this opportunity, this was a freedom that was once only a dream for most people. The Magna Carta is a fundamental part of British democracy, and it was sealed here in Runnymede 800 years ago! While the actual docu-
ment has become a museum piece, the principles it stood for; protecting freedom and personl liberty, have remained a constant over 800 years. Royal Holloway today continues to use its knowledge and insight to ensure these principles survive for future generations. Royal Holloway will be hosting a summer fair with a radical twist. The celebrations with take a creative and critical look at Magna Carta and ask some questions: ‘what do we mean by liberty?’, ‘How can it be secured and protected?’, ‘Is it something we already enjoy or that we must continually strive for?’ The Great Charter Festival will have hands-on activities and performances to explore the Magna Carta, live shows, artists exhibiting (and performing) their work, great food and drink, a crafts marketplace, and more. Royal Holloway is giving students the opportunity to take part in this once-in-a-lifetime event – visit www.su.rhul. ac.uk/magnacartavolunteers to register your interest in volunteering. Visit royalholloway.ac.uk/greatcharterfestival for more details about what will be going on on the day.
BORIS BIKES DESTINED FOR HOLLOWAY? Sutainability Society is undertaking an extremely exciting project, in a bid to bring the NextBikes Scheme to life. The scheme, were it to be implemented, would provide bike hire similar to that of London Boris Bikes. The German based company offering the simple technology, has already had successful schemes in the Universities of Warwick, Stirling and Strathclyde. The bikes are extremely user friendly, and can be hired using college cards, NextBikes cards or an app on your mobile phone. In addition to this, you can use the same card to take out bikes in countries around Europe that use the NextBikes Scheme. The bike racks are designed specifically for NextBikes and so limited spaces will not be an issue.
Maintenance is also offered by a local company, and the bikes come with a ten year lifespan. So not only does the scheme offer a long term perspective, it comes with a host of benefits. Were the scheme to become a reality, the bikes will be on offer for use not just by Royal Holloway students but also by the local community. James Raven, Public Relations Officer for The Sustainability Society told the Orbital that ‘It is common knowledge that the relationship between students and the local community isn’t very integrated, but we truly believe that apart from being sustainable economically and environmentally, this project will help bridge that gap’. The society emphasises the importance of looking at the environmental benefits of-
fered by adopting the scheme, Megan Pedersen President of Sustainability Society tells us ‘We are at the beginning of a phase where the college is trying to expand, and it’s important to focus on sustainable development not just expansion’. The society is looking to create an online interactive ‘Green Map’, with locations of bike racks, locations of recycling containers, food banks and free showers for cyclists on campus, as well as the possibility of checking bike availability. For the scheme to be put in a place however, the demand for bikes needs to be clear, and the society needs your help! Like the Facebook page and fill in the survey at: http:// www.su.rhul.ac.uk/gogreen/ bikesurvey/ Bulkies Abeidah
SURHUL Ranked 69th in Survey In a recent survey conducted by the Times Higher Education website, Royal Holloway’s Students’ Union has ranked joint 69th out of 113 unions in the UK. The Student Experience Survey 2015, shows that results were mixed for Holloway across the categories, which ranged from social life, community atmosphere, extracurricular activities, and cheap shops and bars. Paul Geerlings It is naturally no surprise that Royal Holloway will score poorly in some of these categories: Surrey isn’t exactly known for being cheap. Our poor social rating however is surprising. If one defines social life as clubbing, then we will always score poorly. Yet that is not the definition of social life, surely this category should include societies and clubs? But we ranked averagely in that category also. The SU has the power to improve our student experience. Those who say otherwise are kidding themselves: we do not have the excuse of certain collegiate universities whose social life is run by the college instead of the union. Unfortunately this survey only validates the suspicion that several students have, which is that the Students’ Union does not look out for their interests.
What then, can we do to fix the problem? We can begin with extracurricular activities. Every year we hear that the incoming SU sabbatical officers will make it easier to participate in societies and clubs. They do not do this. Instead, students must first pay £10 Student Activities Membership, then a further £7 for every society they wish to join, with clubs costing even more. Students should not be mandated to pay to participate. Societies alone should set their own membership structure to better reflect what they offer students. Not all societies are the same, and some are more expensive to run than others. Having a student population involved in extra-curricular activities is vital to creating a sense of community.
UK’s Students’ Unions 52 Swansea 54 UCL 55 Portsmouth =56 Hull =56 Sheffield Hallam 58 York St John 59 Brunel 60 Sunderland 61 Sussex 62 Chester 63 De Monfort 64 Worcester 65 Liverpool John Moores =66 Abertay =66 Cardiff Met =68 Essex =69 Hertfordshire =69 Royal Holloway Source: Times Higher Education Student Survey 2015
To read the full article head online to theorbital.co.uk. To read a response from SURHUL, head to their website www.su.rhul. ac.uk.
It is a way to meet people outside of your course and engage with the wider community. It is important that the SU changes its structure to be more accessible to those who can afford it least. It is no secret that our social life at Royal Holloway could be improved. The SU runs two event nights a week. The music is always the same. Sometimes the same song plays more than once in a night. Sometimes the remix plays as well, making it in effect, three times in a night. Tommy’s Bar offers some choice— but in reality, it’s too small to count as a separate room. How can the SU function nights be improved? Turn the upstairs portion into a lounge area so that people can chat with friends over drinks. Many go to the SU to socialise without getting drunk. This year for Lent, I gave up alcohol and was astonished to discover that non-alcoholic beer is not available at any SU venue. Our SU should learn from the Americans where the legal drinking age is 21. There is a reason why there is an all-day coffee and breakfast culture in the US - no one drinks alcohol with his eggs benedict. The SU could try running themed function nights to replicate the quintessential American college coffeehouse. These ideas are small changes that could make a tremendous impact. However, they will only be successful if students get involved. Ultimately, the fault of our poor social offerings lies with us, the students, for not doing enough to foster a sense of community and hold
What’s Up With RHUL’s Parking? You can’t go a day without seeing vehicles going in and out of campus. Especially the flashiest ones! But whether you drive or not you can’t help but notice the full car parks and how frustrating it must be to find a space to park. For a student who commutes from London by train this isn’t an issue for me. However, many other students who commute have voiced their frustration at being faced without any parking spaces? Some students are even forced to park outside campus. Let’s be honest, we would rather avoid that hill! With the new rules and changes implemented to the parking system for any illegal parking, there is a questionable amount of doubt in regards to whether or not these rules are at all efficient.
residence. But perhaps the issue doesn’t lie on those residing on campus or the parking system. It could simply be the fact that those living out of campus but still within the area take advantage of being able to travel by car. The system should however, be modified to ensure that those living furthest away from Egham altogether should hold priority in parking spaces as it seems fairer regarding the distance they have to travel by. Plus if you live within the area why not take a healthy stroll to school instead?
How to park: It’s not rocket science.
We are all somewhat aware that only those living further than 1.5 miles from campus are authorised a parking permit. Or are they? However, some students living close to campus or even on campus are known to keep their cars parked within campus. This seems highly unfair for those who have longer journeys to make. This could be the fault of the office for not keeping track of addresses being compatible with the student’s
History is a Theatre I read an article that made me angry. It read ‘Germany owes Greece 279 Billion Euros for the war’. This article made me angry because it involves Germany in a morality scandal-a scandal that Germany has negated their moral duty to Greece to repay costs and damages incurred in Greece during WWII, this is a period of time from which the current Chancellorship of Germany may possibly be unable to be any further separated. What Greece is asking for is the current government of Italy to stabilise the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Obama to apologise for the Wall Street Crash and this generation to make amends for the Sugarbabes. Despite deliberately emotive and antagonising, the actions of Greece do raise an interesting point when it comes to our connection with the past. As we know, the current economic situation in Greece is about as tense as the end of a Sherlock Holmes episode, with Greece increasingly becoming that kid in the EU playground
Sorry Greece no economic condition justifies actions tantamount to international deficit.
asking ‘can I come?’ a thousand times a minute. For the Greek government so close to its inauguration, to define its term by reviving Nazi history and, furthermore attempting to profit from it, is a very telling sign about the use of history here. Returning to the reason this article made me angry. Greece needs the money. It needs the money to be seen as a credible investment and reliable trade partner for the rest of the EU and it thus hopes to stabilise its economy. It is quite clear that Greece hopes to obtain funds from this historically charged issue which, although represents every second of airtime on the channel ‘Yesterday’, actually occurred over 60 years ago. Moreover this is an issue that is no longer an issue! Germany paid 110 million Reichsmarks to Greece in 1960, and although a fraction of what the Greeks demanded, they accepted there would be no more claims after this. I would have said that the Greeks are poorly atten-
tive to their history, but they appear to have gone to great efforts to contort this additional figure from the rubble of a good portion of a century ago. History is being used as theatre, and this opens the stage door for the pursuit of history as a bargaining tool, the manipulation of history and the stifling of history. The way in which history will be studied will be changed from a broad appreciation for what we can learn and rationalise from the past to a vindictive and critical approach aimed at exploiting political dynamite and moral splinters. It invites a generation of political leaders to blatantly lie about history to serve an agenda, and sorry Greece, no economic condition justifies actions tantamount to international deceit. This makes about as much as sense as the country which invented mathematics, bankrupting itself.
MEDIA AND POLITICS FRIENDS
With the TV debate between seven leaders just recently happening, it is not difficult to make a connection between Politics and the media. Whether the media is a help or a hindrance to Politics and decision making is still undecided, though it cannot be denied it has incredible influence as the public look to newspapers and TV for answers.
negative light. Yes, the media have an obligation to inform the public of the wrongdoings of politicians, but it seems a lot more effort is put into these stories than those of positive ones. It is wrong to tarnish all news outlets with the same brush, with many writing insightful pieces but these rarely read by the masses in the same capacity.
In order for Politics to thrive, there is a need for the public to have access to detailed and accurate information about politicians and their parties. This sort of information is not always provided, instead replaced by scandalous side stories, there to sell papers, with headlines such as â€˜The man who hated Britain.â€™
Perhaps, if the media outlets made more of a conscious effort to encourage people to engage with politics, rather than hate it, information would become more easily accessible. The current want of the media for the next juicy story is damaging and does not provide the public with what we want the most; the truth.
With the media creating stories like this, it is no wonder that we have become disillusioned when politics is continuously painted in this
POLITICS O Royal Holloway Left Forum We spoke to Left Forum Predeint George Severs and member Jack Oâ€™Reilly who gave us a spectrum of views from within the left forum. What is the Left forum stance on tuition fees? The Left Forum, by and large, supports free education. We tend to believe that tuition fees have led to the marketisation of higher education and the transformation of the university into a neo-liberal institution which works against lecturers and students and in favour of management and the increase in profit and revenue. How do you think politicians could plan to ensure that young adults from low income families get the support they need to enter higher education? Firstly, make higher education free! Students from low income backgrounds need to not be put off by the threat of crippling debt and should be able to enter university on as level a playing field as possible with their classmates from private schools. To that end, personally I would like to see the abolition of private and public schools, though believe free higher education to be the first most achievable aim with the widest public support. Do you believe the next government should continue with austerity measures to reduce the national budget deficit? Absolutely not. Austerity policies are quite literally forcing people onto the streets, in the worst cases it has resulted in death. These are policies which are dividing the country, pitting us against one another whilst those who created the deficit continue to bask in their ever increasing wealth. A higher tax on the richest would go a long way to balancing the books, but the important thing to look for is a fair way
of doing this which does not attack the lowest and most vulnerable in our society.
Do you believe the UK should remain in EU? Should the UK have a referendum?
Where do you stand on the privatisation of the NHS? How would you improve front-line services?
George Severs Personally, I believe that the EU has many advantages, but would like to see a stronger socialist presence in order to stop it becoming the neo-liberal project it has over the past decade or so. The Left Forum has no definitive position on this. Jack Oâ€™ReillyI think I have views that are rather different to others on the matter but I feel very strongly about it. If you read the papers or listen to the news you will hear politicians from both sides, left and right, throwing statistics at one another about the economic advantages or disadvantages of the EU. Itâ€™s neither here nor there. I could find one study that supports the EU and just as easily find other research that does not. Everyone seems to have lost sight of what really matters. The EU restricts our national sovereignty and stands in the way of British democracy- the freedom to determine our own future is priceless. The ability to govern ourselves is worth more than any trade deal.By refusing to address the EU or even criticise it, the Left has given the political Right a free rein on the matter.
Privatisation is a damaging and, in the long run, expensive process. Our NHS was built on socialist values, believing that services the important thing to look for is a fair way of doing this which does not attack the lowest and most vulnerable in our society. Where do you stand on the privatisation of the NHS? How would you improve front-line services? Privatisation is a damaging and, in the long run, expensive process. Our NHS was built on socialist values, believing that services should be free for all and owned by the people. I believe, as its creator Nye Bevan did, that the NHS will exist only as long as there are people willing to fight for it, so the next parliament must face a constant lobbying force from the student movement to keep the NHS out of the greedy hands of private companies who will (and are) running it in the interest of profit instead of the patient.
ON CAMPUS Conservative Society We spoke to Conservative Society Vice President Shaun Butler, who answered our questions about the upcoming election. What is your stance on tuition fees? Well personally, I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t frustrated that it was my year that was hit by the fee rise, that much is obvious. I also had some concerns about how the change would affect students from poorer backgrounds, but in fact when I looked into it, the short term payments are much less and nothing has to be paid until you are earning over £21,000. Also, a record number of students
from disadvantaged backgrounds are now attending university, so the fees and the support structures that have been put in place actually seem to be encouraging rather than discouraging students from attending.
years, from which point we can eliminate the deficit altogether. Everything relies on a strong economy, and we need a coherent plan to see the job through to the end, which is exactly what David Cameron is offering at this election.
How does your party plan to ensure that young adults from low income families get the support they need to enter higher education?
Where does your party stand on the privatisation of the NHS? How do you plan to improve front-line services?
The Conservative Party believe that every young person, regardless of their background, should have the opportunity to go to universi ty, and are committed to making sure that this happens, by maintaining the support structures of student finance and university bursaries that are offered to those from disadvantaged backgrounds. Would your party continue with austerity measures to reduce the national budget deficit? It is vitally important that we deal with the budget deficit, for the sake of our generation and for the generations that will follow us. Quite simply, the job is not yet finished, but with some further spending reductions, it can be finished within two
Make no mistake about it, under a Conservative government, the NHS will always be free at the point of use, 100%. This has been an issue that the Labour Party hasused to try and scaremonger and attempt to mislead people on the Conservatives plans regarding the NHS. I urge you not to believe it. This government protected the NHS from spending cuts throughout the past five years and will do so in the next parliament. It has also invested an average of £2 billion a year in the NHS from 2010-2015, and has committed to do so for the next five years. Do you believe the UK should remain in EU? Would your party hold a referendum? The Conservatives believe that although
the relationship with the EU certainly has positive elements, it has long passed the mere economic and trading agreement that the British people had a vote on back in the 1970’s. If David Cameron is the Prime Minister after May 7th, he will go to Brussels and undertake a renegotiation of our relationship with the EU, that has seen large chunks of sovereignty handed over to the EU. The Conservatives will then present the results of these re-negotiations to the British people, and will then hold a referendum on our membership of the EU. It’s time to give the people a say. What is your stance on immigration? Would you remove restrictions on foreign students entering the UK to study? It is true that immigration is too high at the moment and controls need to be brought in so that we can manage the number of people coming here. However, it’s important to understand the positive aspects that immigration has and continues to bring to the country. But it is an important issue and tighter controls are needed.
It’s time we started treating women in politics as women in politics The number of women intending to vote is at a low point. At the last election, only 64 percent of women voted, and though the turnout is low in both genders, with only 67 percent of men voting, the drop is more significant in female voters. I wish this could have come as a surprise to me, but having watched the ITV leadership debate and followed it on Twitter, having seen the attempts of parties to engage women which became some sort of surreal farce where gender stereotypes reached their limit, and having read the main points of each party, it’s pretty easy to see why. We have an election year where for the first time ever there is a roughly equal gender divide in leadership, with the old boys club leading the three main parties and UKIP, and women in control of Green, Plaid Cymru and the SNP. I was really looking forward to the debate and, ignoring what I saw on social media for the moment, wasn’t let down. Natalie Bennett, Leanne Wood and Nicola Sturgeon came across as the most sensible and reliable leaders there by far. I found myself, as did many others, wishing I were Scottish just so I could give another vote to Sturgeon who was easily the best performer of the night. The three female leaders provided an intelligent debate, answering the questions to the point regarding their policies and giving a fresh perspective on the state that Britain is in, promising hope and a positive future for Britain, instead of more cuts. They were the only ones seemingly aware (with the possible exception of Miliband) that there are people in Britain who exist outside the mid-upper class and from outside of Britain. People who, surprise surprise, are actually capable of emotion, and probably don’t like their illnesses or nationality being used to objectify and blame them. Yet it seemed as though half the media failed to realise that we are no longer living in the 1950s. I didn’t realise that it was necessary to send out notices to remind journalists that women are now politicians and should be treated as such, but as the debate continued, I found that I was clearly wrong.
When I took to Twitter during the debate, one of the first things I saw tweeted was a ‘Political Sexism Bingo Card’ for use during the Leadership Debate. It was one of those things that I wished could be just a joke but half an hour into the two hour programme it was half way full, and an hour in there were only three more criteria left to go. Seeing the strongest candidates treated like this all because of their gender is truly horrifying. If they were men, they would be all over the front page of papers for their performance. Instead, they were the subject of articles with headlines such as ‘Sexy Leanne Wood has Twitter swooning with her accent’ and ‘Nicola Sturgeon wearing TONS of make-up, even more than Farage, says election is a chance to change the way we do politics’ as if she is somehow going to turn it into a dressing up party.Newspapers need to stop treating every woman that appears in front of them as an object to be judged and start treating them as politicians, or people, some of whom are capable of leading significant parties into power.
NEWSPAPERS NEED TO STOP TREATING EVERY WOMAN THAT APPEARS IN FRONT OF THEM AS AN OBJECT TO BE JUDGED
It’s hard to see how the general public are meant to have any hope for change when this is the image the media is giving those offering the best policies. It’s no wonder that so many women have becomed disillusioned with the current state of UK politics when people who speak out are spoken over by the old boys club, or else subject to having their credibility destroyed by the Metro or the Independent or whichever paper tweets the next sexist article. But the discrimination of women in politics isn’t just about women in power. It filters down into the policies of all major parties, and their failure to tackle, or even make a talking point of, issues that are important
to women across the UK. Yes, the Tories might have written on paper that overall, there is a 17% difference in mean hourly earnings between men and women. Yes, they might have stated how they want to introduced compulsory pay audits. Yet, they were the only party who had members voting against the bill that Labour brought in promising just this. Similarly, they accept that sexual assault is a severe problem and propose to give Rape Crisis centres more funding, but would these centres be in need of more funding had the conservatives themselves not cut it in the first place? One can see a similar trend with the other parties, with Labour and Green the only two that really stand out for tackling issues concerning women. These two parties are the only ones which offer feasible solutions to problems of domestic violence, the only ones who hope to tackle gender inequality in the workplace properly and efficeiently, and the Green Party is the only one standing up not only for UK-born women, but also for women seeking asylum in our country. Of course, women’s issues aren’t the only ones to be looking out for in the run up to the general election; there are many more equally important policies that will be defined in the manifestos. But at the same time, they shouldn’t be disregarded. We need to make it clear that when we’ve elected who we’ll elect, we will not just sit by and see if they make any progress for women. To get people engaged in politics we need to start showing them how to take part in our democracy and how to have a voice. The parties need to show women that they are going to pay attention to what they want, and listen to their needs rather than trying to take a stab in the dark about how to tackle gender inequality with advice from middle aged, middle class, private school boys. They need to show that they will not take the portrayal of women in the media lightly. They need to show that they are serious about our rights. Perhaps then women will want to harness the power that was granted them almost a century a go and head to the ballots. Imogen Tyreman
SU Elections: Candidates take note I want to talk about election canvassing. More specifically, Student Union Election canvassing. This year has been my first experience of university elections and I’m so glad that the democratic system of this country has transferred to university. However, the ways in which the candidates tried to gain support leave much to be desired. They were invasive and, at times, slightly juvenile.
A Society Election POV “Can we have all the candidates for secretary please?” Is that me? Am I running for secretary or treasurer? Maybe a quick look around to check if anyone else is running…okay, looks like one other person is running so I’d better get up there. Wait… hold the bus! There’s dozens of candidates! Oh, no, they’re just letting someone out. Phew! And it looks like I’m going first. Great. Now let’s just grab my notes…oh, no! Where is my Post-It note?! I swear it was in my pocket! *Breathe sigh of relief* It’s here. I could have sworn that I wrote more. Never mind, everyone’s waiting. Trip up onto the stage equals fabulous start. Why does it have to be so silent when people do speeches? There’s not even annoying elevator music. Right, establish eye contact. With twenty people. Easier said than done – now I feel like I’m glaring at them. Just casually stare over them. Time to talk about how much I enjoy the club and how I want to become more involved. Also it’ll look great on my CV – let’s not say that. Right, so my personal attributes are…organisation. That’s a good secretarial skill! Is time management a skill? I mean, I’ve attended most of my lectures – is that a skill? (Erm, yes.) And I’m good with communication. Key words galore! Okay, everyone looks really bored, especially that guy on his phone over there. Do I throw in a bad joke? No, no, bad idea! Mission abort, mission abort! Oh, dear, that was tragic. Thirty seconds left? Erm, please vote for me pleasepleaseplease. Five seconds left? Fnjgureuo! (That. Wasn’t. A. Word.) Unenthusiastic clapping. Great. Now get down the stairs without falling over. “Can you please wait outside?” Yes, yes, yes, I’m going! Oh, that was awful.
For a start, I do not want to be stopped on my way to a lecture, sometimes running late, to be told to ‘Vote Brian’. I’m not that receptive to the finer details of policy when I’m fresh out of an hour long lecture on Fascism in Modern Europe. And please, don’t stand outside my halls with free tea - it’s lovely but I’m caffeine-free so you’re just in the way. And another thing. Please stop aiming your campaigns towards the female population. Heavy use of the colour pink will turn a lot of us away from voting for you, while campaigns based upon issues encountered by women will alienate male voters. Don’t get me wrong, I love some of the policies being put forward to make aspects of women’s lives easier and cheaper, but how many men would understand or care about such a policy. We may be part of a university with a high percentage of female students, but men count as well and are just as important to target. The greatest issue I have with this year’s election campaign us the heavy use of hashtags. I don’t want to #BackBob or #VoteForVera. One candidate’s manifesto was so littered with hashtags that I barely took in what she stood for, I was just so put off by the sheer number of different hashtags that were used - I actually looked them up on Twitter, and I got zero results! It was a shame, because the points were some of the best but their presentation seemed to be based upon the assumption that we are a generation of slaves to social media. All in all, I would probably say I was disheartened by the approaches of the candidates towards the election. I actually favoured the people who weren’t in my face outside Windsor or specifically trying to manipulate my gender and especially avoided those shoving hashtags at everyone. But alas, people like that, despite being annoying, get winning votes, probably because we are just more aware of them. Prospective candidates take note: these techniques may get you noticed, but real voters care about policies, and lets hope that this year’s winners have both! Elizabeth Carr
Meet the Student Politicans Voter turnout in the UK has been on the decline for years, and young people in particular have gained a bad reputation for not engaging with or even caring about politics. Here at RHUL some students simply don’t fit the stereotype. You may or may not be aware that we have a selection of students standing as candidates in the local elections, and societies that passionately care about politics. We caught up with a few to get their views on the main talking points for the upcoming election.
Robert Ashley King
Labour Party Candidate Egham Hythe What is your stance on tuition fees?
Our party is committed to reducing tuition fees to 6000. We know other parties tend to promise lots and never deliver, so our aim is to under promise and over deliver. What’s also crucial is ensuring that we improve funding for middle income families who get squeezed out by the current loans system and ensure there is better provision for those attending uni in the more expense South! Does your party believe that international students should have the right to work in the UK past graduation? Other parties come down far too hard on international students and damage the rep of the UK. We believe they should be able to stay for two years after graduation, they’re a valuable asset to our country, paying more than UK students into the system in terms of fees, they should be allowed the chance to be successful in the UK. Would your party continue with austerity measures to reduce the national budget deficit? We need to balance the books in a reasonable time frame, again we don’t want to commit to dates and not then not deliver. Our party will take a rational approach, reissuing the 50p tax rate but ensuring we don’t raise VAT. We will reconsider expensive projects such as the NHS restructuring and HS2, to see where unnecessary costs can be cut. Where does your party stand on the privatisation of the NHS? How do you plan to improve front-line services? We will scrap the health and social care act, and reverse the ‘privatisation’ that has occurred under the coalition government, which has created a post-code lottery in terms of quality of services; we need to see the trust system back in action that will encourage the integration of the health service which is the breaking point of success. The conservatives are spending too much on locums currently, we would hire more nurses and put the emphasis on front line care. We need to improve the GP system and would reduce GP paperwork to ensure every patient sees a doctor within 48 hours. The emphasis needs to be on service to society.
Do you believe the UK should remain in EU? Would your party hold a referendum? We would not hold a referendum. It would be pointless to lose the security that EU provides- we can’t deliver in terms of trade and investment if not a member. Our services and financial sectors are geared towards the union. Pragmatically we need to be in system to change in it. On what scale of importance does your party hold national defence? Would your party continue to reduce numbers in the armed forces? Would your party keep the UK’s offshore nuclear system Trident? We need to conduct a review, the global climate has changed and we need to ensure we’re not spending money unnecessarily. For the moment, we propose a reduction in Trident, but we are open to future discussion, we want an open party forum and encourage people to write to the party. What local issues do you think are a priority? Getting local people back into their homes after last year’s flooding, helping families. Protecting bus routes, there should be no cuts especially to early morning and late evening services. I’ll hold biannual meetings with local residents, to ensure I represent your views as best I can.
Questions by Laura Denham. Interviews by Catriona O’Sullivan and Holly Pyne
Green Party Candidate Englefield Green East
How does your party plan to ensure that young adults from low income families get the support they need to enter higher education?
patient care. Another aim that I think is incredibly important is our aim to improve funding for mental health awareness campaigns.
In terms of the Green Party policy on higher education, the main aim it to abolish tuition fees completely. We also stand to increase grants and bursaries to help cover livings costs so students from all backgrounds can enter higher education from all backgrounds can enter higher education and have the opportunity to reach their full potential.
Where does your party stand specifically in terms of reducing reliance on fossil fuel based energy sources?
Would your party continue with austerity measures to reduce the budget deficit? As a party we oppose austerity measures, that impact hard-working citizens, we instead encou rage minimising deficit through higher taxes on the wealthy, ensuring we close down the tax loopholes which other parties aren’t as strict as they should be about. Where does your party stand on the privatisation of the NHS? How do you plan to improve front-line services? We will keep NHS public and ensure we increase funding to front line services. We aim is to remove the focus on hitting targets, and concentrate on what matters: providing the highest standard of
What is your stance on tuition fees?
Labour Party Candidate Englefield Green East
Tuition fees cripple the ability for students and especially students from less affluent backgrounds to succeed later on in life. Therefore, I disagree with the Conservative Government that has raised tuition fees to £9000 and I agree with Ed Miliband in the view that tuition fees should be decreased to £6000. No person should be punished for wanting to have an education. What are your thoughts on increasing the minimum wage? I believe that minimum wage should be increased to a living wage to £8.00 an hour. Over the past five years, we as a country have experienced a cost of living crisis. To tackle this cost of living crisis we need to increase wages for low-skilled jobs. Furthermore in regards to jobs, I agree with the party and Ed Miliband that exploitive zero hours contracts should be banned as they create uncertainty in income. Would your party continue with austerity measures to reduce the national budget deficit? If the Labour Party is elected to government on May 7th the party would continue with austerity measures albeit with not as deep
As a party we’re opposed to fracking, because of the adverse effects it causes to the local environment. We have a holistic view of renewable sources, we should not concentrate on one type of energy, but lots of different sources which all have potential future economic benefits. On what scale of importance does your party hold national defence? Would your party continue to reduce numbers in the armed forces? Would your party keep the UK’s offshore nuclear system Trident? We would disarm Trident due to its extreme cost, there is no serious security threat to Britain. Our policy is based on being able to defend ourselves proportional to the threat, so there would be further cuts across defence, based upon what’s necessary. It is worth thinking about that if Trident were to be scrapped it would pay for tuition fees for 30 years.
and as a hard-hitting on working class families. This is shown with the commitment of the party to deliver a budget surplus during the next parliament. Do you believe the UK should remain in EU? Would your party hold a referendum? I believe that the UK should remain in the EU. The European Union isn’t perfect however the European Union is the largest trading bloc in the world and provides the UK with jobs and greater GDP. The EU also gives the UK a greater voice in the world by being in the union with the backing of 27 other countries. In this view, the Labour Party would only hold a referendum if there was a change in powers between Brussels and London. What local issues do you think are a priority? In Englefield East, the local issues we need to tackle are creating a dialogue between the local government and Royal Holloway University. In this regard, issues such as providing jobs for students and encouraging the voices of students in local politics are priorities for me if I am elected. This will be done by working with the university and the student union in matters alongside the people of Englefield East.
To read the full interviews with the candidates head to theorbital.co.uk. For the full list of local election candidates head to http://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/local-news/election-2015-runnymede-borough-council-9057014
Confessions of a Floating Voter Laura Wood Another election looms and those of us without a strong allegiance to any political party must scrabble around, deciding how to vote. I am one of those people, currently scrabbling away. I have lots of opinions and I lean decidedly to the left, but I struggle to engage with mainstream party politics. Often it seems that there are only a few credible options, which are primarily distinguishable by different coloured ties on privately-educated white men. These men tell us how they are “tough on immigration” and in favour of “hard-working British people”, they call one another names and accuse one another of fiddling expenses. Then everybody laments about voter apathy and how young people aren’t interested, etc etc. I would never neglect to vote on principle, but election season is always a depressing one as I try to work out which of the candidates dismays me the least. I’m living in Staines at the moment, which is the borough of Spelthorne. Our current MP is Conservative Kwasi Kwarteng. All I know of him is that he doesn’t live around here and he co-authored a book about how British people are lazy, obviously endearing us all to him and inspiring us to select him to represent us. Spelthorne is a Tory safe seat - we last had elected a Labour MP in 1945. I am not going to vote Tory and so, deep down, my voting can feel like a pointless exercise. Do I vote Labour, then, as the most likely way to avoid another Conservative, even if my heart is not in it? In 2010, the first general election at which I was old enough to vote, I opted for the Lib Dems in the wave of the “I agree with Nick” optimism. That turned out well. I did the ‘vote for policies’ survey online which took a while but was a useful exercise. I came out 40% Green, 30% Labour and 30% Lib Dem. Then I turned to trusty Google to see what my options were. I instantly dismissed the re-election of Kwasi and the UKIP candidate. The Green candidate was man with an impressive moustache and slightly crazy eyes. After further googling I decide perhaps not. Then the Lib Dem candidate, she’s 25 and feels strongly about the
environment, as far as I can tell. However, I can’t summon up any enthusiasm about voting for them again. The Labour candidate looks hopeful. She’s a couple of years older than I am, also a mum, not a career politician. And the other option is the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, which does sound rather right-on but I decided to do more research. After a brief chat with the TUSC candidate on Twitter (he seems like a nice bloke) and reading a couple of websites, I have learned that TUSC are essentially anti-privatisation, anti-cuts, anti-student fees, anti-nuclear weapons, pro-environmentalism, pro-diversity and pro-equality for marginalised groups. Realistically, they’re not going to be running the country but there is something almost refreshing about their amateur-looking website in contrast with Labour’s high-tech swooshiness. Crucially, for me, TUSC want to reverse the benefit ‘reforms’, in which companies have been offered financial incentives to plunge thousands of disabled people, especially those with mental health problems, into poverty, homelessness and despair. The Labour manifesto is suspiciously silent on this issue. I find myself in a dilemma. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter how I vote because the Tories will almost certainly get in in Spelthorne anyway but does it matter to me and my conscience? Should I vote tactically because Labour are infinitely better than the Tories and have a lot more hope of being elected than TUSC do? Ed Milliband is no Winston Churchill but he is certainly better than Cameron. Martin Freeman assures us on YouTube that Labour are the good guys, after all, but the whole thing is a little too slick, a little manipulative. Or should I vote with my convictions, knowing full well that I am essentially wasting my time? Do these protest votes for hopeless candidates actually make a statement that will, over time, effect change? Answers on a postcard, please.
You can read more from Laura on her blog http://www.keepingiteclectic.co.uk/
#PICK FOR POLICY
DO YOU REALLY KNOW WHAT EACH PARTY STANDS FOR? CHECK OUT LUCY CAMPBELL’S FOOLPROOF GUIDE. AND PICK FOR POLICY NOT PARTY.
Deficit: Get the current budget into surplus and national debt falling within the next parliament. No additional borrowing or new spending. Taxes: Clamp down on tax avoidance. Reverse the Tories’ tax cut for millionaires. Introduce a ‘Mansion Tax’ on houses worth over 2 million, a new tax on tobacco companies, and clamp down on tax avoidance by big corporations. Scrap Winter Fuel Allowance for the richest pensioners. Cut taxes for 24 million people on middle/lower incomes by introducing a lower 10p-starting rate of tax. S Restore the 50p rate of tax for those earning over £150,000, for the next parliament. Abolish the ‘bedroom tax’. Tax on bankers’ bonuses. Rail fares: Cap rail fares.
Deficit: Eliminate the deficit by 2018 and secure an overall budget surplus by 2020. Taxes: Crack down on offshore corporate tax avoidance. Freeze fuel duty. Cut income tax by raising the personal allowance from £10,500 to £12,500– lifting 1 million of the lowest-paid workers out of tax altogether – and by raising the level at which people start paying the 40% rate from £42,285 to £50,000. Scrap the jobs tax altogether for under-21s. Cut corporation tax. No VAT increase. Benefits: Freeze working-age benefits for working-age people for 2 years from April 2015. Lower the benefits cap from £26,000 to £23,000. Stop benefits rising faster than wages. Introduce Universal Credit so it pays more to be in work than on benefits. 18-21 year olds won’t be entitled to housing benefit.
Deficit: “Strict new fiscal rules” to ensure the deficit is gone by April 2018, with the wealthiest contributing the most.
Taxes: Raise the personal allowance to £11,000 in April 2016 and then to £12,500 by 2020. The ‘Mansion Tax’ would operate similarly to council to tax bands. Increase capital gains tax from 28% to 35%. Impose an additional 8% rate of corporation tax on UK banks. Bus fares: A two-thirds discount on all local bus fares for young people aged 16-21. Benefits: Oppose freezing working-age benefits without taxing the rich too. Wouldn’t block welfare cuts altogether. Withdraw eligibility for the Winter Fuel Payment and free TV License from pensioners on the 40% rate of income tax. A “yellow card” system to deal with benefits claimants breaking the rules, rather than imposing sanctions without warning.
Taxes: Increase the personal allowance to £13,500 by 2020. Abolish inheritance tax. Introduce a 35% income tax rate between £42,285 and £55,000, at which point the 40% rate becomes payable. Set up a Treasury Commission to design a turnover tax on large businesses. Lower the VAT rate charged on restorations to listed buildings. Scrap the ‘bedroom tax’. Boost “credit unions”. EU: Save £8 billion a year in membership fees by leaving the EU. Foreign aid: Cut foreign aid budget by £9 billion a year. Benefits: Prevent anyone from taking up permanent residence in Britain unless they’re able to support themselves and any dependents they bring with them for at least 5 years and stop them receiving benefits.
Taxes: Oppose the Infrastructure Bill. Support an international bank tax and limits to industry bonuses. Opposed to the ‘bedroom tax’. Benefits: Oppose cuts to in-work benefits. Introduce a maximum combined withdraw-
al rate for benefits and reforms to employment support allowance and cold weather payments. Protect policies like concessionary travel for older Scots.
Taxes: Oppose the ‘bedroom tax’. Support the ‘Robin Hood’ tax to encourage more responsibility and stability in global markets. Institutions: Establish a publicly owned Bank of Wales investment bank. Give devolved nations an equal say in institutions that affect everyone’s lives, like the Bank of England. Reform the IMF and World Bank in order to improve regulation and accountability. Benefits: Move away from complex and expensive means testing for child-related benefits. Continue to campaign for the introduction of a living pension during the next parliament for those aged 80+.
Taxes: People earning over £100,000 a year would pay 50% income tax. Introduce a wealth tax of 1-2% on people worth £3 million or more. Scrap HS2. Crack down on tax avoidance by multinationals. Enforce a cap on bankers’ bonuses. Rail and bus fares: Cut by an average of 10%. Benefits: Support a Citizen’s Income, a fixed amount of £72 income a week to be paid to every individual, whether in work or not, to be funded by higher taxes on the better off and green levies. Scrap the govt.’s welfare cap, which limits the maximum amount a household can claim annually to £26,000 a year
#PICK FOR POLICY
NHS: Time to Care Fund – additional 20,000 nurses and 8,000 GPs by 2020, and a 1-week cancer test and result guarantee. Guarantee a GP appointment within 48 hours, and on the same day for those who need it. Give people the right to book an appointment 48+ hours in advance with the GP of their choice. Mental health: Give mental health the same priority as physical health. Integrate health and social care services into “whole-person care” – physical, mental and social. Give people the right to psychological therapies for mental health problems.
NHS: Cross-party review of the future of NHS funding. Increase NHS spending each year. Give everyone access to a GP 7 days a week by 2020. Increase NHS spending in England by at least £8bn above inflation over the next five years. Seven-day access to GPs by 2020 & same day appointments for over-75s when needed. Integrate health and social care. Improve access to mental health care.
NHS: Increase funding by £1 billion, funded partly by higher earners paying more tax on their shares. Mental health: Half of the increased funding will go towards mental health. People who need therapy for conditions like depression will be guaranteed treatment within 18 weeks. For young patients experiencing psychosis for the first time treatment will be provided within 2 weeks of being referred by a GP. Further mental health targets if voted in.
HEALTH CARE UKIP
NHS: Quitting the EU and “middle management cuts” will provide an extra £3 billion per year to fund the NHS. Keep NHS free at the point of delivery. Migrants: Ensure all visitors and migrants who have been here for less than 5 years have NHS-approved medical insurance as a condition for entry to the UK, with £200 million of the £2 billion saved to be spent on ending hospital parking charges in England.
NHS: Real-terms increases in year-on-year NHS spending. Streamline the work of health boards. Reduce the number of senior managers in the NHS by 25 % over the next parliament.
NHS: Recruit 1,000 extra doctors to the Welsh NHS over two terms of govt. Offer financial incentives for recruiting doctors to areas and specialisms where there are shortages. Encourage innovation and attract more research funding. Improve training for postgrad doctors and stop them being used to “plug gaps” in staff rotas. Encourage recruitment from within the EU to fill vacancies.
NHS: Funding to be diverted away from centralized facilities towards community healthcare, illness prevention and health promotion. Stop privatization. Abolish prescription charges. Ban proactive recruitment of non-British NHS staff from overseas. Ban promotion of tobacco and alcohol products, including sponsorship.
LAW & ORDER LABOUR
Crime: Ban on the use of community resolutions for dealing with domestic abuse and sexual crimes. Introduce Victims’ Law to give victims of crime new entitlements to minimum standards of service as well as the ability to hold those services to account when standards aren’t met. Ban convicted child sex offenders from working with children. Bring back control orders to combat extremism and revive Prevent strategy. End £17 million “subsidy” for cheap gun licenses.
Crime: Banning orders to outlaw groups that incite hatred or cause fear. Extremism Disruption Orders (EXDOs) to stop “disruptive” individuals from speaking in public or holding a position of authority. A new law setting out victims’ rights. Replace Human Rights Act with Bill of Rights. Police: New laws to make it easier to the police to collect information about internet activity by suspected criminals.
Police: Replace Police and Crime Commissioners with Police Boards made up of councilors form across the force area. Make ‘stop and search’ more accountable by making the wearing of body cameras by officers compulsory in some areas and for firearms officers. Crime: Pass a Digital Bill of Rights to help protect people from unwarranted intrusion and give them more control
over their own data.
NHS: Quitting the EU and “middle Crime: Those jailed for offences affecting their community should be banned from returning to live in the area, as a condition of their release. Those responsible for criminal damage forced to carry out unpaid work in area where it was committed. Withdraw from European Arrest Warrant. Repeal Human Rights Act and replace it with UK Bill of Rights.
Crime: Support European Arrest Warrant. Co-operate with other countries on organized crime and terrorism.
Crime: Creation of a Welsh Youth Justice Board. Replace ASBOs with a system of restorative justice. Encourage a debate on future of drug enforcement laws.
Crime: Decriminalize cannabis and axe prison sentences for possession of other drugs. Decriminalize prostitution. Ensure terror suspects have the same legal rights as those accused of more conventional criminal activities.
Apprenticeships: New post18 apprenticeship and vocational education system. Introduce new Technical Degrees as the pinnacle of the new vocational route. Increase the number of apprenticeships so that as many young people will be on apprenticeships as currently go to university by 2025. Budget: Increase the overall education budget in England by at least the rate of inflation.
Apprenticeships: Create 3 million new apprenticeships by the next parliament. Academies: Convert up to 3,500 more schools. Schools : Invest £18 billion in new schools. Attract top graduates to teaching.
Budget: Protect education budget from cuts. Schools: Guarantee qualified teachers and a core curriculum set by independent experts, as well as compulsory sex education, in all state schools, academies and free schools. More money for disadvantaged school children.
Schools: More grammar schools. Scrap sex education for children aged under 7. School governing boards must be made up of at least 30% parents of children at the school. Universities: Scrap tuition fees for students from poorer backgrounds who take degree courses in the sciences,
technology, maths or engineering. Allow universities to charge the same amount for EU students as non-EU students.
Universities: Maintain lack of tuition fees at Scottish universities and offer financial support in grants and loans to students. Schools: Continue to build and refurbish schools.
Schools: Introduce a compulsory modern foreign language GCSE in secondary schools and the teaching of modern foreign languages in primary schools. Strengthen the teaching of Welsh history and culture. Oppose foundation schools, academies and free schools. Universities: Oppose any further increases in tuition fees, and will seek the abolition of tuition fees as and when public finances allow.
Schools: End performance related pay for teachers. Replace Ofsted with an independent National Council for Educational Excellence. Bring free schools and academies into local authority control. Ensure all teachers are properly qualified. Raise school starting to 6 if parents want it. Abolish SATs and Year 1 phonic tests. Scrap National Curriculum. Universities: Scrap tuition fees.
Border controls: Make it easier to deport foreign criminals, check people in and out of the UK, and to help prevent illegal immigration. Control low-skilled migration without deterring high-skilled workers and university students. Work and benefits: Ban agencies from recruiting only from abroad. Increase fines for employing illegal immigrants. Migrants won’t be able to claim benefits for at least 2 years.
considering their claim. Anyone who currently has the legal right to live, work or study in the UK wouldn’t face deportation in the event of our withdrawal from the EU. Skills: Introduce an Australian-style points policy to select migrants – from within and without the EU – with the skills and attributes needed to work here. Border controls: Bring net immigration down to 50,000 a year. Introduce priority lanes for UK passport holders. Increase UK border staff by 2,500.
Work and benefits: “Put British people first”. Migrants must wait 4 years before being able to claim certain benefits like tax credits, Remove migrants that have failed to find work after 6 months. Clamp down on benefits tourism and health tourism. EU: Renegotiate our EU membership with focus on reform of EU free movement rules.
Points: Oppose a points-based system. Asylum seekers: Support the right of asylum seekers to work in Wales while they wait for status decisions to be made. Lobby the Westminster govt. to ensure that they shut “detention” centers.
Border controls: Reintroduce exit checks at borders to identify people who are overstaying their visa. Work and benefits: All new claimants for Jobseekers’ Allowance are required to have their English language skills assessed, with JSA then being conditional on attending language courses for those with poor English. EU migrants must “earn” their entitlement to benefits.
EU: Primary objective to withdraw from the EU. Opt out of the Dublin treaty to allow the UK to return asylum seekers to other EU countries without
Stronger border controls: Allow the devolved govt. to have control over immigration to Scotland. Skills: Introduce a Canadian-style earned citizenship system to attract highly skilled immigrants.
Border controls: Progressively reduce UK immigration controls. Migrants legally in the UK for over 5 years will be allowed to remain unless they pose a serious danger to public safety. Asylum seekers: More legal rights for asylum seekers.
#PICK FOR POLICY
Zero-hours contracts: Abolish exploitative zero-hours contracts, with rules to give new rights to employees on zero-hours contracts. Employees who have consistently worked regular hours will have the right to receive a fixed-hours contract automatically. Ban employers from requiring zero-hours workers to be available on the off-chance that they’ll be needed. Stop employees from being required to work exclusively for one firm if they’re on a zero-hours contract. Living wage: Raise the minimum wage to £8 by the end of next parliament. Increase fines for employers who fail to pay the minimum wage and give local authorities a role in enforcement. New jobs: Create 1 million new high technology, green jobs by 2025.
Zero-hours contracts: Ban them. Jobseekers: Aim for full employment for all those willing to work. Business: Triple the number of start-up loans to businesses to 75,000.
Apprenticeships: An extra £1 an hour for the lowest paid apprentices. New jobs: Campaign to create 1 million more jobs.
Migrants: Allow firms to offer jobs to British workers first “without the fear of being sued for discrimination”.
Living wage: Living wage to be “a central priority” in all Scottish govt. contracts. Gender: Introduce gender quotas on public boards. Small businesses: Continue the ‘small business bonus’.
Living wage: Enforce a living wage. Small businesses: Provide rates relief for small businesses. Contracts: Increase the number and value of contracts from Welsh public bodies that go to firms within Wales.
New jobs: A national energy conservation scheme to create thousands of new jobs that are “sustainable”. Promote more local production of food and goods. Zero-hours contracts: Ban them. Living wage: Increase the minimum wage to £10 by 2020.
New homes: Build 200,000 homes a year by 2020. Give local authorities “use it or lose it” powers over developers who hoard land that has planning permission so they can sell it on for a bigger profit, instead of building on it now. Committed to a new generation of New Towns and Garden Cities. Renting: Make 3-year tenancies the norm instead of 6-12 month short-term ones. Make rent increases more predictable. Ban letting agencies from charging fees to tenants. Scrap letting fees to estate agents to give a “fairer deal” to tenants.
New homes: Make 100,000 new affordable homes at below-market rent for first-time buyers. Extend the Equity Loan part of Help to Buy to 2020. First-time buyers under the age of 40 would be able to buy a house at 20% below the market rate.
New homes: Build 300,000 houses a year and up to 5 new Garden Cities.
New homes: Protect the greenbelt by incentivizing the building of affordable homes on brownfield sites. Establish a UK Brownfield Agency to hand out grants, tax breaks and low interest loans. Major planning decisions to be ratified by local referendum.
New homes: Provide support from the Scottish govt. to contribute to the building of new homes.
Renting: Introduce stricter rent controls. Insist on written tenancy agreements.
Renting: Introduce a rent cap to prevent exploitation by private landlords. Set up a living rent commission to bring rents back in line with incomes. New homes: Build 500,000 social rented homes by 2020, paid for be scrapping the buy-to-let mortgage interest tax allowance. Abolish right to buy.
Freeze energy bills up to January 2017 – would be legislated immediately. Introduce a simple new tariff structure to allow people to compare prices more easily. Abolish Ofgem and replace it from January 2017 with a tough new watchdog, with the power and remit to force energy companies to cut their prices when there is evidence of overcharging, and the power to revoke energy companies’ licenses when they harm customer interests. Set a firm 2030 decarbonisation target. Give the Green Investment Bank more powers.
Protect the environment and Green Belt in the planning system.Spend more than £3bn to 2020 improving the environment.Phase out subsidies for new onshore wind farms Invest £500m over the next 5 years towards making most cars & vans zero emission vehicles by 2050.
Double renewable electricity by 2020, aim to decarbonise the power sector by 2030, leading to a zero carbon Britain by 2050. Plant 750,000 trees a year. Charge for plastic bags Promote use of electric cars and public transport.
Repeal the Climate Change Act 2008. Protect the greenbelt End so-called “green taxes” to cut fuel bills. Prioritise support for organic farms
Invest in offshore wind farming.
Build a Green Skills Construction College specializing in green energy. Establish a publicly owned energy company.
Phase out fossil fuel-based energy generation and nuclear power. Reduce all UK greenhouse gas emissions to 10% of their 1990 levels by 2030 to tackle climate change. Invest in renewable energy sources, flood defences and building insulation. Ban fracking.
Outlaw discrimination and abuse of Armed Forces personnel. Commit in law to holding a Strategic Defence and Security Review every 5 years.
Protect foreign aid budget. Replace Trident. Second new aircraft carrier will be brought into active service. Create new award for service in the reserve forces.
Protect foreign aid budget. Replace Trident. Help service personnel and veterans with mental health problems. Integrate defence and security spending.
Remove the passports of anyone who has gone to fight for a terrorist organization and deport anyone who has committed a terrorist act. Create a Veterans Department to look after the interests of ex-servicemen. Leave EU.
Oppose nuclear weapons and push for removal of Trident from Scotland. Promotion of peaceful alternatives to armed conflict. Maintain 0.7% commitment to foreign aid. Enhance Scotland’s role within the UK and Europe, particularly in fisheries policy.
Honour commitment of 0.7% of budget to foreign aid. Campaign for cancellation of developing countries’ debts. Support Fair Trade movement. Support minority nations and minority language speakers around the world. Pass a Military Wellbeing Act to promote and safeguard the physical and mental health of military personnel. Continue EU membership and campaign for democratic reform.
Referendum on EU membership. Push for reform of EU to hand powers back to local communities. Boost overseas aid to 1% of GNP within 10 years. Take the UK out of NATO unilaterally. End the “special relationship” between the UK and USA. Stop the EU-USA free trade deal TTIP. Scrap Britain’s nuclear weapons.
Humans of Holloway
HUMANS OF HOLLOWAY
Alexandre Andrews, Sports Officer 2015 “He’s like my little brother”
Shahi Ghani, Guitarist of band Room 6, and Biomed Science graduate student. "What a sad thing it would be to go to Royal Holloway just to do your degree. That should be the least of your worries."
Leon Jacques , Politics, International relations and Philosophy student "I definitely have a 9am tomorrow.... Live in the now and the rest will sort itself"
PEN TO PAPER INTRAMURAL Like the newspaper print that stains his palms, And the limp grey bodies piled up in his arms, There’s the hot stench of sulfur creeping from kitchens, Narrow-eyed claims framed with wide set lenses, They knock on the door, claw at the wallsTomorrow, he’ll buy new locks. Draw the blind. He’ll join them/lie, Pray to God, salvage past thoughts, They the effected and he is the cause; If one man cannot see it, how can it exist? Hannah Davies
The Vote is a groundbreaking new play by James Graham which covers the final ninety minutes before the polls close in this year’s general election. Dame Judi Dench, Mark Gatiss and Catherine Tate are among the ensemble cast of fifty actors who have been brought together to star in the production which is set in a fictional polling station with the action taking place in real time. Being staged at the intimate Donmar Warehouse in London from the 24th April to the 7th May, The Vote marks a monumental national event, as the play will be broadcast live on television on the 7th to coincide with the closing of the polls. James Graham’s previous political drama This House premiered at the National Theatre in 2012 and went on to be screened nationwide in cinemas through the NT Live scheme. As a young playwright, his voice is enabling politics to become more accessible to a younger audience and future generation of writers. Graham has expressed a continual interest in opposing the view that political theatre just has to be negative and cynical towards the system. With The Vote focusing on ‘the diverse, diligent and often hilarious individuals’ placing their votes to determine the nation’s political future, it seems as though audiences are likely to be shown a refreshing and positive outlook towards this year’s general election. The Vote will be broadcast live on More4 on Thursday 7th May at 8.30pm. Hannah Sayer
With the general election approaching, it is important to remember the feminist movements that took place in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in the fight for women to have equal rights, including the right to vote. Later on this year, the film Suffragette will be released and it is likely to be a dominant force within the 2016 Oscar race. The film will tell the untold story of the real foot soldiers of the Suffragette movement who were prepared to go beyond peaceful protests, often turning to violence and prepared to lose everything, to fight for equality and change. Its revolutionary status in history will be further reinforced within the production value of the film, as it is the first in history to have been given permission to be shot at the Houses of Parliament. The film boasts exceptional female talent from stars Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Marie-Duff and Meryl Streep; from screenwriter Abi Morgan and director Sarah Gavron. It is disappointing that none of the films nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards this year were helmed by a central female protagonist. This was also reflected with no female screenwriters or directors being nominated. The recent twitter movement #FilmHerStory reflects that audiences want films with more female protagonists. We need films that are representative. Suffragette is likely to be successful in capturing females within history for a wider audience to appreciate, as it is captured as ‘a story told by women, about women, for women’. Suffragette will be released in UK cinemas in Autumn 2015. Hannah Sayer
BOOK Isaac Asimov - Foundation Series So its revision season. You haven’t got time to read for pleasure and even if you did, do you want to get into a new book? And which one?! This was my line of reasoning, but then the revision comes and you realise you should take a break, and how better than to just sit down and throw yourself into some fictional world. Preferably one in which exams and essays don’t exist. Asimov’s Foundation series fills the niche. Primarily three books, the series extends to whatever point you can read to. All of Asimov’s books are linked in one way or another, and yet each is a stand-alone novel – perfect if you might have to abandon reading to some essay deadline. So the setting – the Milky Way galaxy, a mere 20,000 years in the future. Earth is just a legend and instead humanity has melded all of the inhabitable worlds into one great Galactic Empire – Foundation begins when that Empire begins crumbling. The story follows a world. Not a character, just a world. That world is the Foundation itself, as it rises under various personalities to fulfil its own destiny of Galactic Domination. Each chapter is recounted in the narrative of a new protagonist, sometimes with centuries elapsed between chapters. Each has its own challenges, its own plot, and its own twists and turns, which means if you don’t like a character, you just read onto the next chapter. You soon learn to realise though that it’s the themes which are important, it’s the grand narrative that hooks you, the plight of a galaxy rather than that of an individual. It’s a place filed with atomic physics, huge armadas of space ships, and ludicrous technology that only a writer in the 1940s could have predicted. But that’s all part of the charm. There’s political intrigue that would put House of Cards to shame, and suspense scenes that would have Stephen King on the edge of his seat. But underlying it all is easy-to-follow language, and a plot complex enough to fool, but not annoy. Asimov’s Foundation is in short the perfect revision read. Just try not to get too hooked – the Orbital and I accept no responsibility for your missing of any deadlines. Alex White
THEATRE All My Sons at the Richmond Theatre On Saturday 4th April, a friend and I went to see Arthur Miller’s All My Sons at the Richmond Theatre. It is currently on tour (until 25th April), and is a Talawa Theatre Company production – the Talawa Theatre Company is a UK-based black company, Talawa meaning ‘small but mighty’ in Jamaican patois. All My Sons was Arthur Miller’s first success, and follows a fami-
ly, the Kellers, almost torn apart from the Second World War. One of their two sons was reported missing three years ago, and the patriarch of the family, Joe Keller, was exonerated after having been jailed for providing the military with faulty airplane parts, which caused the deaths of twenty-one pilots. However the blame was placed firmly on Joe’s partner, and the family is as rich and successful as ever, despite the fact that Joe’s wife Kate still firmly believes her son Larry is alive. When their idealistic surviving son Chris invites Larry’s former sweetheart Annie to stay, events are put in motion that might just tear the resilient family apart after all. The play is a critical look at those who made their fortune supplying the military during the Second World War, and is a study of The American Dream and how far people will go to achieve it, and maintain it. The set looked like the back porch and garden of a beautiful doll’s house, with dappled green to represent trees everywhere, and foliage hanging from the ceiling. My friend commented that it all looked a bit fake, but I wondered if that was intentional. The play is after all about a man presenting himself as charming, friendly and unthreatening, while many can see that his easy charm is artificial. My friend also noted at first how lovely all of the greenery was, before changing her mind halfway through the first act because the bright green was starting to hurt her eyes. The acting was, over all, very good, with the cast managing to just about keep our attention through the slower-moving parts of the play (of which there are many). However, at times, I did find my attention wandering. Where the cast really came into its own was during the more tense and dramatic moments in the play, providing a lovely contrast to their former cheeriness. Dona Croll, who played Kate Keller deserves a special mention for her wonderful ability to fully capture the motherly, delusional, sometimes heavily passive-aggressive Kate. Kemi-Bo Jacobs, who played Annie, had a rather strange and distracting tone to her voice perhaps brought on by the adoption of an American accent, and was prone to using jerky hand movements when making a point, which was also distracting and rather bizarre. However, the cast worked together wonderfully to subtly show the way that their fragile interpretations of the American dream was slowly crumbling, and the shocking climax of the play was built up to masterfully. Madi Gianfrancesco
FILM White God Man’s best friend? What’s that 02? Be more dog should we? Kornél Mundruczó might beg to differ on that one if his new film, White God (‘Feher isten’), is anything to go by. In an internet-age saturated and suffocating with viral videos of nearly all things cute and cuddly under the sun squeaking and squawking, White God is quite the oxygen mask. Telecommunication marketing strategies aren’t likely to be changed though, as White God is unlikely to make it beyond the art house circuit, despite attracting critical approbation. Mundruczó’s seventh film is a political allegory with bite, a bizarre, quixotic tale of canine uprising that his countryman would have been proud to have his pawmark on. Swapping the classical art house long takes and hypnotic hum of Popol Vuh for handheld widescreen shots, White God is a significant advance on the alternately dreamy and dreary Delta (2009). For his efforts Mundruczó was duly garlanded at Cannes last year with the Un Certain Regard award. The protagonist is a 13-year-old girl forced to spend time with her divorced abattoir-examining father. Upon discovering that she has brought her pooch along, and a new law having been recently passed penalizing non-pedigree dogs, the pet is sent packing. Passed through various hands, the hound eventually ends up being fed dodgy protein shakes and made to do laps on a doggy treadmill in order to turn him into a lean mean fighting machine. After escaping his various captors and outwitting policemen of ‘Allo ‘Allo school capabilities, things quickly become proverbially on the other hoof with relation to man versus beast. In terms of acting accolades, hounds win hands down here; all 250 real live ones of them. Forget that little dog from The Artist, it’s all about Luke and Brody who share the acting chops. Although we may want to be Hagen running amok, or Elsa letting it go, really we are human and master to ourselves, accepting all the complex responsibilities that that entails. If any bones were to be picked, there is a superfluous and undeveloped subplot involving a teenage crush and a drugs raid than could have been cut to make a leaner beast. Nevertheless White God positively leaps off the screen, fawning at your ankles. Go play ball with it. Douglas Knight
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Bella Thorne Rhiannon Lloyd chats to he star of the hit new teen movie The Duff, about all things from high school to feminism .
n first hearing the premise for The DUFF (which stands for Designated Ugly Fat Friend), you might be sceptical. After all, who wants to watch a film that, on first impression, boxes people up into stereotypical categories? However, you must be careful not to be guilty of the same with this film. We follow Bianca, as she discovers that she is the “approachable one” guys talk to in order to date her “hot” best friends. Outraged by this, Bianca sets out to reverse-DUFF herself, with the help of the school’s most popular jock Wesley. Although the film may be predictable there are one or two shock moments, and despite the film's use of tropes from the high-school genre it carves out its own little niche as a quirky, enjoyable teen movie. Mae Whitman as Bianca brings so many little idiosyncrasies to her character making the film all the more unique. It makes an easy and enjoyable watch, after all we've all felt like the DUFF at some point. The role of the classic high school villain, Madison, a wannabe reality star and Bianca's tormentor, is played by 17-year-old Bella Thorne. A child star on the Disney Channel, who's making her break into the world of cinema. We met up with Bella at a London hotel to talk DUFFs, acting and her ambitions for the future. What first attracted you to the part in the film? I read for the role of Bianca because that's the character I liked; then Ari [Sandel, the director] told me I wasn't going to be Bianca and that he wanted me to look at another role, so I looked at Madison. Madison wasn't my favourite character, but I really wanted to be a part of the film and I really wanted a chance to work on it, so I said yes. What was it you responded to in the script? The comedy, definitely, I loved the message behind it. I think it’s very interesting to put everybody in a box; you’ll always be labelled your whole life and it’s kinda your job to, climb out of that box and prove to people you can be more than that. Did you draw on your own high-school experience for the film? I’m still in high school and I haven’t gone to high school; I’ve been home-schooled since third grade [Year 4 in the UK] so I can’t really give you an answer to that! Have you had the chance to experience high school through shooting the film? Yes, definitely. Every time I’m in a movie where I film in a high school I just want to touch those lockers and the lock and the combination… I get very excited when I get to shoot by lockers! The DUFF is based on a novel. Did you ever read the book? Your character’s not in it, so how did you approach that? Nope, my character’s not in it! I didn’t read the book actually, but there wasn’t that much to prepare for. I watched Jawbreaker [a 1999 high-school thriller starring Rose McGowan, where three of the most popular girls accidentally kill the prom queen]; I felt my character was going to be most like Rose McGowan in Jawbreaker than any other mean girl you’ve seen before, at least that I could think of. A lot of mean girls are the blonde with the big boobs who is ditsy and my character is not that at all. In the film we made sure that it was very downplayed because when I agreed to do that role I was said, well, I’ve already played a mean girl who was a Valley Girl, kind of dumb character [as Celia in Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day], and I can’t play another mean girl that’s the same character I’ve already done. So, we made sure that she was very op-
posite – in the movie I don’t wear skirts and loads of makeup, I’m literally wearing black jeans and a tank top with a leather jacket and boots the whole movie. Also, my attitude is very much not in-your-face like, “Oh my god, OMG”, and mean behind your back – I’m just mean all the time! You mention the costumes; there’s been some interesting costume work on the film. How did you guys go about creating different looks for the characters? I talked to Ari and said, how are we going to make this character? I remember when I first went in and he saw my take on this character and I was just so hard-core, cold, shut-off and aloof, and he said nobody’s ever played Madison like that. We talked a little about wardrobe and when I walked in I was wearing my everyday outfit which is literally my All Saints black leather jacket, with a t-shirt underneath – usually it’s a white t-shirt, sometimes it’s a Marvel t-shirt or a comic book t-shirt – my black ripped jeans and boots; that’s all I wear every single day. The film is about inner beauty and stereotypes. What advice would you give to girls who might be feeling insecure? Imperfections are what make you beautiful, I know that sounds cheesy but honestly, it’s so true. People say glasses aren’t supposed to be a good thing and I love glasses; people say braces aren’t supposed to be a good thing and I’m obsessed with blue coloured braces; freckles, I want freckles so badly, sometimes I draw them on just wishing I had them! My laugh – people literally tell me, you’re lucky you’re pretty because your laugh is so horrendous, and I embrace it all the time and I literally laugh in peoples’ faces. Those are just things you have to embrace. You’re an actress, an author, you’ve been a musician – where do you get your ambition from? I guess I just grew up with it, I grew up hungry. I was not raised as a rich kid, when my father died we were living off coupons that we would pick up off the street, we didn’t even really have a house to live in. My mum was a single parent raising four kids and I think I probably got my hunger from her, from watching her struggle. You mentioned earlier that you wear Marvel and comic book t-shirts, is that a universe you’d like to get into? Oh my god yes! I’m a little bit of a feminist myself so I believe in women being badass; one of my favourite animations is Brave because she doesn't need no guy, she’s like, “Bye, I’m going to go do this on my own”! So I love female superheroes because they don’t need a superman in their life. Do you have a role model within the acting industry, or someone whose career you admire? I admire lots of careers, none that I want, per se; I want my own career, I want to be the first to do something, that’s what I look forward to. I love Christian Bale, I love Julianne Moore, I love Emma Stone, I love Tom Hardy… I loved when Katherine Heigl made her speech when Knocked Up came out and everyone went, “oh my gosh, this girl just popped up”, her speech was all about how she’d been working in the industry for however many years [since she was a child] and was just getting noticed, those are the people you look at and you just know they’re meant to be somebody.
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WHY YOU SHOULDN’T DELETE FACEBOOK (trust me) Beth Woollacott Everyone is so intent on deleting Facebook due to its ‘negative effects on society’. I mean, let’s be honest, if you haven’t tried to delete the app from your phone at least once, you’re lying. It’s the worst distraction tool, coming out of a lecture knowing more about my sister’s best friend’s cousin’s new baby’s christening than matrix multiplication is unfortunately, not uncommon. Don’t even get me started on the hours I spend procrastinating by flicking down my newsfeed wondering how I could get back in touch with the guy I went out with in primary school. However, despite all these demeaning Facebook clichés, there are reasons why we struggle to leave the circle, which don’t suggest we are completely self-obsessed. Author The aunt that comments on every photo with ‘luv it hun, gr8 hair, wen u comin 2 c me nxt? xxx’ may be the reason which you want to leave Facebook to start with but without Facebook our ability to keep in contact with friends and relatives would become extremely limited. In an age where our lives are becoming increasingly busy, logging in and liking your best mate’s gap year photo is a enough to let them know you’re thinking of them.
Events. Need I say more? University events are basically organised by Facebook, if it didn’t exist then so many trees would be killed to spread the word about the next BioSoc meeting that there’d be no oxygen left to breathe.
I seriously believe it is great we can like each other’s picture to the point it can become an obsession. A person who is so driven by image and such contest, in my mind, completely deserves the disappointment of getting a measly ten likes’. If you are naive enough to believe the 500 likes from distant acquaintances defines your popularity, then prepare to learn the hard way, my friend.
It’s a great tool for young artists to get their names out there. Who says it’s a bad thing that crazes can move from Austria to a tiny town in the Cotswolds in seconds from a few shares of a link? If you’re clever enough to realise Facebook for the advertising campaign it could be, and you post a video of your talent which goes viral, then go you! Let’s learn to enjoy other people’s success.
Cyber bullying doesn’t have to be a thing. It isn’t Facebook which has started this craze, it just acts as another medium for bullying. But it is also a great device to stop it. The ability to decline friend requests, is there. The ability to block people, is there.
The BFI LGBT film festival, dubbed ‘Flare’, was held between the 19-29th of March and played host to the years best crop of LGBT films as well as special revival screenings and events. During this flamboyant 10 days we attended 2 of the marquee events, a screening of the much celebrated new French film ‘Girlhood’ as well as a 40th anniversary screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
As we entered the atmosphere was electric and Grindr was lighting up like a christmas tree. We were seated in the BFI’s gorgeous south bank auditorium where we first viewed Céline Sciamma’s ‘Girlhood’. The film was a beautifully shot coming of age story about a young girl in urban paris, a locale not often explored in french cinema which has a strikingly similar aesthetic to London. It proceeds to document about a year in the life of young Vic as she joins a gang of girls and deals with a complicated homelife. Where the film surprised most, given the context, was in its subtly regarding LGBT issues. Compared to Sciamma’s previous work, this film’s gender issues play out relatively unspoken through subtle allusions throughout the film which question whether or not the protagonist is transgender. This question is never quite answered or even directly addressed by characters. This marks an important step in the evolution of LGBT cinema whereby a character being LGBT doesn’t necessarily mean the film must be controlled by this narrative. Here it could be cut completely from the film with few repercussions and shows it to be something that doesn’t have to define who someone is but just be a facet of their personality. This brings us to one of the great examples of LGBT cinema in existence. The Rocky Horror Picture Show is perhaps the most significant and beloved cult film of all time and that love was on full display at Flare. The screening was held in the BFI IMAX, Britain’s largest screen, and was packed to the rafters and, with more than half the audience kitted out in their finest fishnets, the anticipation was palpable. The screening began with a heartfelt introduction by two lifelong fans and event programers as they recounted stories of a childhood spent watching the film on repeat. One of the speakers, a transvestite themselves, told of how they’d recorded the film’s audio on to a cassette and photographed the television screen in an attempt to watch the film when she wasn’t able to rent it. This all culminated in what has to be one of the greatest cinema going experiences of all time. The audience hooted and cheered throughout the film, both calling out in unison ‘subscript’ lines cultivated through years of midnight screenings as well throwing a few jokes of their own. The entire audience even jumping up to dance along with the ‘Time Warp’ resulting in an experience of such joy that you were forced to overlook the films many flaws. Where this film then thrives as a piece of LGBT cinema is in its wholehearted acceptance of all things not deemed to be ‘normal’. It does this not by tackling the issues but in a sense by ignoring them. Nobody ever questions or even acknowledges that Dr Frank N. Furter is a transvestite. Brad and Janet, an otherwise stereotypical married couple, both have sex with Frank N. Furter, only briefly objecting because of the moral implications on their marriage. The beauty of Rocky Horror, and perhaps the reason it lives on as a treasured gem of a film, is that it exists in a world without gender or sexuality; a world where the weird are celebrated and hedonism abounds. It is these reasons for which it is such a vital film and one which should be emulated more often. And it has some pretty great songs to boot.
FRIDAY 5TH JUNE SURHUL PRESENTS: THE SUMMER BALL IN AND AROUND FOUNDER’S BUILDING
EVEN BIGGER AND BETTER THAN EVER BEFORE!
Summer Ball Style Jessica Bantleman gives you her tips and tricks for looking great for this year’s Summer Ball.
Make sure you have a cover up at the readysuch as this ASOS bomber.
The little white dress has dominated the red carpet- why not change it up with a suit or jumpsuit?
Dark lips- Topshop have a great range of shades.
The warmer months are finally here! Forget the possibility of April showers, because we’re looking forward to the warmer months and the trends that love the sun as much as we do. Summer at Royal Holloway brings us one of the biggest events in the students’ calendar; the summer ball! Whilst it’s still a few weeks away yet, we can’t help but hope that a bit of outfit planning may get us through those pre-exam blues, and so we’ve created outfit mood boards specifically with the Summer Ball in mind. The trends which have inspired us this issue are ones which have us wishing for summer; Think florals and pastels, bold lip colours, two pieces, and chunky heels. The summer ball is the perfect event to change up your look and experiment with a different style. The Topshop ‘Spring fling, dreamboat dresses collection’ showcased pastel and muted florals on longer hem
Co-ord two pieces are a quirky alternative to dresses.
Not a fan of dresses? Cigarette pants are an easy alternative.
These heeled mules are a subtle way to rock this summer’s 70s trend.
lines (think midi dresses and classic A-line prom skirts). Vera Wang favoured smokey purple hues and Designer Derek Lam reintroduced us to a pretty lilac palette. The romantic whites on the Valentino runway are perfect inspiration for your summer wardrobe, whether it’s the little white dress (The summer classic) or on a crisp blazer thrown over a jumpsuit. Playsuits, co-ords and white jeans paired with heels are a great alternative to dresses, and Kimono’s are a great way to add layers without the weight of heavy material. But don’t be afraid to stray away from the lighter colours, a wine red lip, and black two piece can still look great in the warmer months. So however you chose to style this year’s Ball outfit, warm weather, great music, even better company and the grounds of our beautiful founders’ building will be the perfect way to showcase it.
Above: Camellia Hayes
Photography of the Month
Above: Hira Taseen
Below: Isabella Chen
Tasty Fresh Fast
Exam Stress-Busting Risotto As I’m sure that many of you are now well aware, the dreaded exam period is now all that stands between us and the end of the year – not to mention the wonderful prospect of a gloriously long summer, of course! With final exams now looming, it is more than likely that as a student, your stress levels are probably rising. So what better way to combat this than with a delicious, but also nutritious and super easy recipe!? This vegetarian risotto makes an amazing evening meal – perfect for rewarding yourself and your friends with after a long hard day of studying! Serves One Ingredients:
• Half an onion. • Half a pepper (your choice of colour!) • 3 or 4 large mushrooms. • One handful of frozen peas and/or half a tin of sweetcorn. • 3 ounces of rice • A splash of olive oil (not too much – we’re keeping this super healthy!) • Half a teaspoon of vegetable stock (Vegetable Bouillon is ideal for this.) • A pinch of chilli powder (depending on how flavoursome you want it!) • Black pepper (again – to add flavour.) • 200ml of boiling water.
1. Peel and dice your onion. 2. Wash and de-seed your pepper and cut into strips. 3. Peel, wash and chop-up your mushrooms. 4. In a medium-sized pan, gently fry your onions and peppers for 3-4 minutes. 5. Add mushrooms, rice and stir in well. 6. Add in your vegetable stock, chilli powder and black pepper for flavour (the best part!) 7. Add in boiling water and stir, ensuring that nothing is left stuck to the bottom of the pan (very important!) 8. Add in your peas and/or sweetcorn. 9. Bring your pan to the boil and then turn the temperature of the hob right down to simmer gently with the lid on for approximately 15 minutes. 10. Check often to ensure it does not boil dry - add a little more water if necessary! 11. After 15-20 minutes check to see if all of the water has been absorbed and if the rice is thoroughly cooked. 12. Optional: serve with grated cheese and your choice of side-salad and salad dressing! 13. Enjoy your delicious, tasty and exam stress-busting meal – you deserve a break, after all! PS: You’re welcome. Words by: Alice Emily Crick
MEET THE SABBS
WE DECIDED TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE PEOPLE YOU CHOSE TO RUN YOUR SU NEXT YEAR.
EDUCATION & CAMPAIGNS
What made you run for the president position? I have been heavily involved with the SU for the past two years, so I already knew all the ins and outs of the place; but when nominations opened, I realised that I wanted to take on a more active role in shaping the SU and I wanted to make a real difference to students here, so that’s why I ran! Have you previously been in a similar position? Either in the SU or otherwise? I’ve never been President, but I was the Social and Communications Officer for Absolute Harmony in my second year, I have been on the Student Activities Committee for the past two years and this year, I ran to be a Student Trustee. In your opinion, what is the most important element of university life? Personally, I feel that the most important part of university life are the opportunities for personal growth and development that arise throughout our three years here. And also making sure that students receive constant support during their time here. What parts of Royal Holloway need preserving? What needs changing? Royal Holloway has an amazing history (our link to the Women’s Suffrage movement is so interesting!) but it can get lost sometimes, so I would like to preserve and promote our rich history. As far as what needs changing… I think that there are a few small things that should be changed. The price and variety of food on campus needs to be looked at but also, I would like to look into keeping the back gate open for longer, especially during exam season. Which point in your manifesto is the most essential/important to you? Why? I like all my manifesto the same! No, but the one that I want
to focus on the most is getting more water fountains installed around campus as soon as possible because I think we urgently need them. Which groups around campus do you wish to help flourish? I want to help out our political groups as much as I can by helping them run any campaigns that they want to. Ialso want to publicise our course rep system more by linking up academic departments, course reps and the relevant academic society, so that course reps canreally get the most from their time as a course rep. How will you keep in contact with those around campus? I want to build on the ‘Sabbs On The Sofa’ initiative that was started this year and have myself and the three other Sabbs out and about on campus regularly so people are able to come up to us and ask us questions. The ‘SU on Tour’ that was started this year is another great way for the Sabbs to talk to students on an everyday basis. I also want to create an online portal on the SU website where people can submit questions online. How will students be able to contact you? They can just pop in and say ‘Hi!’, I want to have regular office hours where anyone can come in and see me, but I’ll also be available via email, twitter and Facebook! What do you seek to gain from being a sabbatical officer? I would like to be able to look back on my time as a Sabb and say that I made a real difference to student lives at Royal Holloway (sounds cringe I know, but it’s true!). I also hope to gain hands-on experience in leading and managing a team, I am so excited for next year, I can’t wait to get started!
MEET THE SABBS
JACK What made you run for this position? I wanted to run for this position because I’ve had such a great time this year as President of LGBT+ Society, working to raise awareness of LGBT+ issues on campus, organising events and fundraising for various charities. I feel that what I’ve achieved this year has actually been quite successful, and I want the chance to do this on a much bigger scale! I think Sid has done a fantastic job in her two years, and I want to make sure that a lot of the things that have been important to her stay important to SURHUL. I have lots of ideas for what I want to do in the role and I’m very thankful that I’ve been given the opportunity to try them out! In your opinion, what is the most important element of university life? I don’t think there’s any one key part to the university experience. Obviously we’re here to study for a degree, but my degree has by no means been the centre of my time at university. It’s about a balance of study, social life, extra-curricular work, volunteering and earning money and getting yourself experience! And obviously looking after yourself and making sure that you’re able to healthily balance doing all of these things! What parts of Royal Holloway need preserving? What needs changing? I’m really excited to see where Royal Holloway is going- it seems like there are a lot of changes happening at the moment, like the addition of new departments and the new library building, and I’m thrilled to see the university get bigger and better - I only wish I had more time here to experience this! Which point in your manifesto is the most essential/important to you? Why? Two of my manifesto points really stand out to me in terms of what I’m most passionate about. I want as many students as possible to leave university with practical work experience, and this is why it’s important to me to create and facilitate as many student internships at the SU as possible. As well as this, work on liberation is one of the main reasons I felt so strongly about running for the role: I want to reach and educate every student on campus around issues of consent and liberation, and even if that’s not possible in my time as
WELFARE & DIVERSITY
Sabb, I want to help make sure this can happen in the near future! It’s also really important to me to develop the work I’ve started this year with HIV testing on campus, as well as wider STI testing - it’s so hard to choose one point that I think is the most essential, so sorry for the long answer! Which groups around campus do you wish to help flourish? Something that’s really come to my attention over the last few months is how little the SU is able to engage PG students, International students, and other minority groups on campus (such as Mature students, Parents & Carers and Part-time students). I really want to find out what we can do to aid these groups in their studies and engage them in our Union over the next year, and in the future. How will you keep in contact with those around campus? I want to be able to go to as many events held by societies, clubs and groups on campus as possible. I want to be a face that people feel comfortable talking to just around campus, and I want to be able to check in with representatives from minority groups via the Exec Committee, and the Welfare Committee I intend to establish. It’s a big task to try and stay in contact with 9000 students, but I want to do my best! How will students be able to contact you? I intend to always be forward facing in my role, always attending events, in Rialto and the SU, and available on Facebook and email as much as possible. I know I won’t always be able to get back to students straight away, but communicating with, and supporting students, WILL be my priority while I’m in the role. What do you seek to gain from being a sabbatical officer? What do I want to gain from being a Sabb? A very challenging but rewarding year, where I can help students to have the best time possible at Royal Holloway, and to put on the events and run the campaigns that are important to them! Of course, I also have my own personal aims in terms of campaigns and events, and I’m looking forward to being able to engage students in these, but I think the main aim is to build a relationship with as much of campus as possible, so that more people can understand what the SU is, and how they can use us to enhance their time at university!
MEET THE SABBS
BRIANNA MIDDLETON MACPHERSON
SOCIETIES & MEDIA What made you run for this position? I wanted to re-run for my position, as Copresident societies and media because Ive had an amazing year already working for your SU and I wanted one more. We achieved a lot this year and not just in student activities but as an organisation and I wanted to continue the work we started. I hadn’t finished the job yet and I knew if I had more one year there was so much more we could achieve. Have you previously been in a similar position? Either in the SU or otherwise? Yes I was co-president societies and media for the past year, in my third year I was societies officer on exec and in 2nd year I was president of the dance society. In your opinion, what is the most important element of university life? I believe the most important element of university life is getting involved in as many different aspects of student life as possible. Whether that’s joining a society, media outlet or sport, fighting for your education or enjoying a night out with you friends. University life is about learning a lot and trying everything, and I want to encourage as many students as possible to get involved with their Students’ Union. What parts of Royal Holloway need preserving? What needs changing? Royal Holloway as an institution has changed and developed a lot in the past few years, and I believe we need to preserve a lot of the change which has been implemented such as new estates projects like the new library and increased engagement in the all round experience students have at university outside of their degree. However there is still a lot of work to be done to ensure the expansion of the university benefits our students in the long run. Royal Holloway is a good university and a lot of work has been done to make sure the university is current and providing the best for our students, but if we want student satisfaction to continue improving we still need to make changes to things such as food provision on campus and transport in the local area.
Which point in your manifesto is the most essential/important to you? Why? I think the most important part of my manifesto is something I’ve been working on this year already. Fighting for more space for our societies, clubs and media outlets on campus. There is a serious lack of space available from the college and this limits the activities we can do on campus. I’ve been working with the director of student experience, Mike Johnston to submit a paper to the space sub-committee which hightlights why we believe we need more space and which spaces we believe we should have access to. I will make sure I will keep fighting for this next year. Which groups around campus do you wish to help flourish? One of my mains aims to get more and more students involved in the SU through student activities and the way to engage a wider range of students is to expand our variety of societies. I want to give more support to students who want to set up new societies and make sure we have systems in place to support more and more societies. I want to work with our Development officer on Exec and on SAC to ensure we provide helpful and consistent advice and guidance to all student groups who want to ratify a club or a society. How will students be able to contact you? The best way for students to contact me is via email on Brianna. email@example.com but I am also contactable on Facebook via Brianna Middleton MacPherson SU and Twitter @SURHUL_SocMed What do you seek to gain from being a sabbatical officer? From my first year as a sabbatical officer the most rewarding part was seeing students succeed and develop their societies & media outlets and this year I hope to help more students achieve outside of their degrees. I’ve also throughly enjoyed my year and I can’t wait for the next one!
MEET THE SABBS
SPORTS & DEVELOPMENT What made you run for this position? Ever since my first year I have really enjoyed the opportunities I have had through the SU and the Student Activities Department especially! I want to be able to provide similar opportunities for others. Plus who doesn’t love sport and increasing their employability? Have you previously been in a similar position? Either in the SU or otherwise?
Which point in your manifesto is the most essential/important to you? Why? That’s a tough one. Ideally I would like to say that I can achieve them all – they wouldn’t be on it otherwise. I guess all of them feed into my first point in some way, the Students’ Union Sports Strategy. If I am able to leave next year with the direction for sport (and student development) have a clear, ambitious and achievable 3 year plan I would be very happy. Which groups around campus do you wish to help flourish?
This year I have been heavily involved being the Sports Officer (a part-time volunteer role on the SU exec), the Student Activities Administrator (a part-time student job – yep, I’m the guy who can get you pitches this year!) as well as being President of both Badminton and Table Tennis.
All of them, if I can. I would like everyone who we can engage with to reach their full potential through sport and their employability.
In your opinion, what is the most important element of university life?
Email, face-to-face, down at Nobles on a Wednesday afternoon. I plan to be as approachable and visible as I possibly can next year!
Whatever you enjoy! Make the most of your time here. The opportunities are so vast you do not need to only work on your degree. Once you get your degree, employers are looking for something to set you apart from the others that also have the same degree as you. What parts of Royal Holloway need preserving? What needs changing? The opportunities that are presented to students need to be preserved (if not forever improving!). What needs changing? That is a tough one, it depends what affects you – I’d personally like to see a few more things be included in your tuition fees; like the gym!
How will students be able to contact you?
What do you seek to gain from being a sabbatical officer? A successful year for the Student Activities department and the SU in general. Nice and vague I know but until Jason leaves his seat I am happy to watch him carry on doing a great job.
For the full list of winners and the breakdown of election results head to the SU website. Interviews by Catriona O’Sullivan and Holly Pyne
“The difference between a politician a about the next election while the state
#VoteBeacuse A disappointingly overcast morning last Friday turned into a beautiful sunny day, perfect for the next aspect in Royal Holloway’s #votebecause campaign. Kim Deasy, the Press and Communications Officer, explained that they hope that the campaign will encourage students to register and use their right to vote in the upcoming general election. Today’s task was to spell the word vote using staff and students with an aerial photo, a creative and visually exciting way to involve lots of people in the campaign and raise awareness. I spoke to two students involved in the photo. Jing said ‘As an exchange student, to be part of it, to get involved in politics and activities, to prompt democracy, is worthwhile and brilliant’. Hannah, a first year, emphasised the importance of this campaign: ‘Young people especially don’t have as much political awareness as they should have, which should change. Previously universities have been centres for political activity but not recently. Politicians have a tendency to ignore people because they often don’t vote. It’s frustrating.
It was an interesting experience, being involved in the photo, as there were quite a lot of logistical issues that needed to be overcome – for a start, finding a point high enough to take a suitable photo. However there was fantastic communication between the photographer and those organising us on the ground, and it was nice to chat to the other participants. Some of us were there because we wanted to get involved, others were brought down by the Politics department, but we all felt that our right to vote was important. And with a general election coming up, it’s so important that we take the opportunity that we have been given to have a say in our democracy. The deadline for registering to vote is 20th April, and you can register at home as well as up here in Egham, although you can only vote in one of these places. It doesn’t take very long and it is so worthwhile to get your views taken into account at this very important election.
and a statesman is that a politician thinks esman think about the next generation.”
Can’t Afford Not to Vote Despite of all the stress on how important it is to vote, some of us still get lazy when it comes to registering to vote and then actually voting. What we do not realise is how lucky we are to have a transparent electoral system which gives us the right to voice our opinions without difficulty. We forget that there are countries in the world, where people are still struggling for their rights to vote. Or countries where, when you vote for change, your vote gets changed due to massive rigging.
use their right of vote. Similarly, recent elections in Nigeria, where people came out to vote despite the threat by Boko Haram is a reminder to make use of the security we have.
Anyone who knows me well, knows how passionate I am about people and their political rights. That is probably because of the fact that I have spent many years living both in Pakistan and in the United Kingdom. Therefore, I can somewhat distinguish between what makes a country flourish; electoral system being the most important of all. I remember 11th of May, 2013, when I watched the General elections in Pakistan from my living room in England. I saw a political party, PTI (Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf), which had a huge census and was expected to sweep the elections, lose majority of the seats, just because the other major corrupt parties did a massive rigging in the elections so that they could continue on with their dirty politics. It was then I realised how lucky we are in Britain to have such a peaceful election season where there are no fights during campaigning and a voter does not feel threatened to go out and
While PTI in Pakistan is still (successfully) fighting for something similar to what Britain has – a trustworthy electoral system, it is time we invest some time in figuring out the real power our right to vote holds and use it wisely. It is also important for us to realise the difference between statesman and a politician.
“The difference between a politician and a statesman is that a politician thinks about the next election while the statesman think about the next generation.” ― James Freeman Clarke
With no threats of there being any chances of cheating in the General Elections 2015, we hope that the new government will stand by their promises prior to the elections and will work towards a better Britain. We also hope that Pakistan and many other countries succeed in providing their citizens, an electoral system that can be trusted so that an actual democracy can take place.
CAMPUS SURVEY 2015
We surveyed students on campus to see whoâ€™s voting for who in the upcoming election check out the results.
Whoâ€™s voting for who? At RHUL the majority of voters are choosing Green, with Labour and Conservatives close behind.
Williamson, Tuke, Butler
Majority voting Green
Majority voting Green
Majority voting Conservative
Majority voting Conservative
Majority voting Green
Majority voting Conservative
Majority voting Green
Majority voting Labour
Majority voting Labour
Majority voting Labour
Majority voting Labour
Majority voting Conservative
Worried about Exams? It’s perfectly natural to be feeling a little anxious about exams at this time of year. Here are some facts you might not know about exam worries and details of where to get support or advice. - Did you know a small amount of short term stress can actually help to increase your productivity – particularly in performance demanding situations like exams? - Exam stress will effect students to varying levels. It’s okay to be nervous about your performance in exams – if you are not at all concerned you are unlikely to perform at your best. - Almost everyone experiences nerves, doubt, and feels under pressure but it is important to manage and to deal with this worry effectively so it doesn’t become a long term worry. - Student Counselling offer advice about exams anxiety at royalholloway.ac.uk/ecampus/ welfare/counselling/commonproblems.aspx. Their advice will help you manage exam worries - such as what to revise, planning revision, testing yourself, maintaining a balanced lifestyle during this time and how to prepare for and sit the actual exam. - Moodle also offers excellent resources about helping with exam techniques. We also encourage you to get involved with all the fantastic StressBusters events arranged for this term by the SU & College. Support & Advisory Services are here to help with any aspect of exam worry that you may encounter - please do get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
STRESS BUSTERS 30th April
Petting zoo De-stressed Founders BBQ & Shisha Field Medicine
Puppy Stress buster Live Music Therapy Medicine SU
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10 Things NOT to do before an Exam Exams can be an extremely stressful time, as we all know. However sometimes we don’t make the best decisions during this time. Here are a few things you shouldn’t do before your exams:
Cultural Calendar The Cultural and Interfaith calendar shows some important events across 2015 and 2016. Many events are celebrated here at Royal Holloway due to our multi-cultural and diverse campus. Last term, Holi festival was an amazing success that saw students covered in powdered paint. Here we’ve decided to highlight a few more upcoming festivals.
Lilly Trinder and Alice Mason MAY 2015 4th: Vaishaka Puja (Buddha Day) 7th: Lag B’Omer 24th-25th: Shavuot (Feast of Weeks) 25th: Lantern Floating
JULY 2015 2nd: Asalha Puja 4th: American Independence 13th: Laila Ad-Qadr 17th: Eid Al-Fitr
JUNE 2015 14th: Race Unity Day 16th: Martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev 18th: Start of Ramadan 21st: Lithia AUGUST 2015 1st: Kammas 15th: Obon 29th: Raksha Banhan
SEPTEMBER 2015 5th: Krishna Janmashtami 15th: Start of National Hispanic Heritage 16th: Mexican Independence Day 17th: Constitution and Citizenship Day
OCTOBER 2015 Black History Month 4th: Hoshanah Rabbah 6th: Simchat Torah 9th: Birth of Guru Ram Das
DECEMBER 2015 8th: Bodhi Day 22nd: Yule 26th: Start of Kwanzaa
JANUARY 2016 1st: Oshogatsu (Shogatsu) 5th: Birth of Guru Gobind Singh 11th: Seijin Shiki
OCTOBER 2015 Black History Month 4th: Hoshanah Rabbah 6th: Simchat Torah 9th: Birth of Guru Ram Das
FEBRUARY 2016 2nd: Imbolc 8th: Lunar New Year 12th: Darwin Day 15th: Paranirvana
MEDIA UPDATES SOCS BALL AWARDS FOR MEDIA 2015 Co-President’s Cup – Julian Farmer Insanity Radio Freshman of the Year – Charlotte Mason Crests for Insanity Radio – Harley Ayers & Young Kuk Noh Insanity Radio Best Specialist Show – The Magna Carta – Nick Robinson Insanity Radio Best Entertainment Show – Society Wars – Luke Wilson & Jake Mills Insanity Radio Best Topical Chat Show – Liberation Station – Sidonie Bertrand-Shelton Student’s Union Community Shield - Insanity Radio Community team (Community Heads - Issie Fenlon & Kara Hodgson) Orbital Magazine Best Section Editor – Laura Denham (News) Orbital Magazine Best Journalist– Thomas McDonald (Arts Team) Rhubarb TV Best Video - Kate Burns – Dance Society Mental Health Awareness video Rhubarb TV Best Crew Member – Matthew Hopkins Rhubarb TV Best Presenter – Stephanie Rendall
I Love Student Radio Awards Insanity Radio’s region: London & East Anglia won Best Region (Region officer 2014-15 was Sam Parker) Insanity Radio got highly commended in the Best Outreach Project category Student Radio Association Elections –SRA London & East Anglia Regional Officer – Julian Farmer SRA Marketing Officer – Charlotte Greer Read Insanity Radio Projects upcoming 2015/16– Insanity Radio App New Website Board Elect 2015/16 Station Manager: Young Kuk Noh Assistant Station Manager: Conor Ryan Head of Operations: Michelle Archer Head of Programming: Katherine Brown Head of Content & Standards: Thea Matthews Head of Training: Ceri-Ann Hughes Head of Computing: Dylan Maryk Head of Online Content: Catriona O’Sullivan Head of Station Sound: Julian Farmer
Head of Audio Engineering: Patrick Austin Head of Community (Outreach): Jon O’Shea Head of Community (Activities): Charlotte Mason Head of Events: Alex Sundgren Head of Music: Michael Bird Head of News: Isabelle Finn Head of Marketing: Syed Ali Head of Publicity: Han Randall
Orbital Projects upcoming 2015/16 More connection and collaboration with the Student Publication Association Plan on entering Orbital into the Student Publication Awards 2016 Journalism Training days Photo-journalism training days Features in collaboration with Rhubarb TV (multi-platform) Board Elect 2015/16 Editor: Catriona O'Sullivan Deputy Editor: Laura Denham News Editor: Chloe Wright Deputy News Editor: Louise Jones Opinion Editor: Holly Pyne Deputy Opinion Editor: Elizabeth Carr Features Editor: Tomike Adeniji Deputy Features Editor: Imogen Lily Trinder Lifestyle Editor: Abigail Rebecca Turner Deputy Lifestyle Editor: Nina Katharina Minhard Arts & Entertainment Editor: Michelangelo J Fano Deputy Arts & Entertainment Editor:
Lis Carlton Sports & Societies Editor: Corrie Wheeler Head of Operations (Secretary): Hayley Ashworth Head of Photography: Saurav Chowdhury Head of Design: Molly Harding Head of Marketing / Publicity: Aakriti Gupta Head of Events: Becca Selby-Heard Head of Website: Dylan Maryk (Still to elect - Deputy Sports & Societies Editor, Sub-Editor & Head of Advertising)
Rhubarb Projects upcoming 2015/16 Live streaming Variety show - Jools Holland style – bands at crosslands Station Manager – Oz Kattis Assistant Station Manager – Stephanie Rendall (Rhubarb still to elect full board when this issue went to print)
UPCOMING MEDIA EVENTS UK General Election night – hosted by Orbital – 7th May RHUL Student Media Collaboration Event & Awards Ceremony - 3rd June – upstairs in the SU Student Radio Awards - 5th November at London’s O2 Arena– Insanity will be submitting entries to various categories
This year’s Socs Ball saw the glitz and glam of Holloway’s societies descend upon the Thistle hotel in style. After a classy drinks reception, complete with a jazz quartet and much posing for photos, the main event got under way. Out of the ever successful performing arts societies, Shakespeare Society emerged victorious scooping two awards; the first for most improved society and the second the RAG outstanding contribution award, to honour their incredible read-a-thon, which saw members shivering outside the Windsor building whilst working their way through all 37 of the bards plays in 99 hours. Best new society went to Sustainability Society, who have made a serious impact this year with plans to hopefully bring a bike hire system to Royal Holloway in the near future. The out-
standing individual achievement of the night saw cheers erupt from the Insanity radio table for Julian Farmer, who was the well- deserved recipient of the Co-President’s cup, rewarded for his exceptional contribution over his time at RHUL to our media outlets, as both Editor of the Orbital and Station Manager of Insanity. Insanity were also recognised for their year’s work engaging with people from wider community with the community shield award. Though the sparkling ballroom echoed with the woos and squeals of our more dramatic societies’ winners throughout, the night undoubtedly belonged to the lively, letterman jacket-clad members of Computing Society. You’ve probably spotted them around campus in their notorious yellow and blue jackets, but love them or hate them, Computing Soc’s
committee have worked tirelessly to put the society on the map this year and were rewarded with Society of the Year. Chants of ‘Comp Soc, comp soc’ boomed around the room as the ecstatic committee led by President Filippo Di Paolo collected the award. It’s been a great year for societies at Royal Holloway, and if I could squeeze every completely deserving winner into this tiny review, and those who perhaps weren’t honoured with awards but still worked exceptionally hard, I would! What remains to say is a huge congratulations to all from the Orbital team, and a massive well done and thank you to Brianna and the SA team for an unforgettable night.
Colours Ball 2015 was bigger and better than any year before it, the Bears assembled helmets removed, goggles off, boots left at home ready for the ultimate sporting celebration. This year the Bears have reached new heights, getting into the top 50 for BUCS point and a hugely successful This Girl Can campaign putting Royal Holloway on the map The night’s most successful team was undoubtedly Women’s basketball who scooped two awards, the Team of the Year and Performance Package Team of the Year awards, following an incredible season which saw them undefeated in the league and LUSL cup winners.We wish them all the luck for their premiership play-off match later in April. Co-Pres Welfare and Diversity, Sidonie, then presented the shiny new Liberation awards, in the shape of numerous bottles of wines, which went to Men’s and Women’s Rugby for their tireless commitment
to the I Heart Consent campaign launched by the SU this year. Men’s Rugby added to their haul with the Community Action plaque, after a year which saw the team create their own naked calendar and charity single. Talking of charity singles, attendees were treated to an exclusive first performance of the Royal Holloway Sport Choir’s charity single during the night- CDs available to buy from the SA office now! The winners however of RAG event of the year were the truly deserving Cycling club after their exhausting sponsored ride from Lands End to John O’Groats, raising £2000 for charity. Women’s Football, after having an amazing year under President Cissy Radford, picked up two big awards of the night; Skills and Employability Shield and RAG Outstanding Contribution. This is a testament to all of their hard work raising over £3,000 for Cancer Research
from Onesie trainings to their amazing Bingo night as well as all their informative careers sessions including an Alumni Q&A. Women’s Football really does walk on water. The main award of the night went to a club that’s been making serious waves this year; Royal Holloway’s Swimming club were the well-deserved winners of Club of the Year 2015. And the club plans to continue its huge success into this term- look out for updates of their plans to swim the English Channel for charity! Despite the many individual and club successes, the night however belonged to Co-Pres Sports and Development Jason Michalski for making dreams come true with a live performance of his Thrift Shop parody- Macklemore jacket and all. Thanks to Jason and all the SA team for an amazing night of celebrations.
WALKING ON WATER
A Season Review Previously in BUCS lacrosse leagues, the quality of a team has been based on the amount of US based or experienced players that the team has. Royal Holloway lacrosse team gained no experienced or overseas players this year and the only recruits were players who had barely heard of the sport, let alone picked up a stick. The future looked challenging for a team that had never won a piece of silverware. The entire team knew it would be an uphill battle especially with larger universities who had more players to choose from. The team began training hard each week with American coaches Brendan McCann and Jordan Boreman. Beginning their season with a win over Surrey was crucial and from there the team grew in confidence. Scores of 15-1, and 18-1 in late autumn against inferior Kent and Portsmouth sides rewarded the team’s determination and hard work. In the final game of December goalie Noyan Serim suffered serious injuries and was out for two months. In stepped the inexperienced Ali Wardere. With the first game back after Christmas Ali put in an outstanding performance and kept the first clean sheet of the season. The team continued their unbeaten run through the second half of the season fighting their way to the cup final. The toughest game of the entire season, the cup final went to sudden death in extra time. A nervous 5 mins with shots from both teams and great saves from both goalies kept the game alive but it was a burst of pace and perfectly placed shot by Chase Stuart that saw Holloway to victory. The team saw out the season with a well deserved cup victory, a league title and an undefeated run. An outstanding performance from a team that lacked experience all those months ago.
It’s been one hell of a year for RHUL Women’s Football, with the club achieving success after success. The large intake of new players, the introduction of two new coaches and the tremendous amount of effort put in by the committee and its members enabled the club to push forwards both on and off the pitch. On the pitch, all three teams have benefitted from the new coaching. The first team were crowned champions of their BUCS league and finished 3rd in LUSL. The 2s had a strong season, with particularly strong performances against the likes of Greenwich and Goldsmiths. Our 3rd team have improved greatly this year, culminating in their best performance yet just before the Easter holidays. Off the pitch, the club has been incredibly proactive with both volunteering and fundraising efforts, continually striving to find new and exciting opportunities. Overall this year, Women’s Football have raised an over £3,000 for the club’s chosen charity, Cancer Research UK, holding successful events including a bingo night and several pub quizzes, as well as having two teams partake in the annual Cancer Research Great Christmas Pudding Race. This year’s Colours Ball for Women’s Football reflected all of the hard work and effort the club had put in this year. Achieving seven individual awards, including full colours for first team captain Annabel Giles and an Athletics Union Crest award for Kate Burns, the night was completed with the attainment of the Outstanding Contribution to RAG award and the Skills and Employability Shield. Following a competitive elections, next year’s committee were selected and the responsibility of continuing and building on this success was passed on. Our aims will be to develop the club further by recruiting strongly, continuing the welcoming club-spirit and generally increasing the prospects of our members – from an athletic and employability standpoint. Something which, as next year’s president, I am particularly keen to see happen is the continued connections with local primary schools. Encouraging more girls at a younger age into the game is important to me because it is something I wish I had had the opportunity to do personally. In addition to this, after the success of RHUL Sports Choir led by Women’s Football, our focus will be geared towards recreating this tremendous level of unity and collaboration between sports teams across campus. Going forward one thing is for certain, RHUL Women’s Football will continue to be more than just a sport and will continue to walk on water.
Being only four years old as a society, it has taken a lot of work to get where we are, but next year we are more than ready to show all of Roho just how amazingour choir is and how much we do for our members. We have had such an exciting year: we have held two concerts, hosted a national competition, raised over £1,200 for charity as well as getting involved with the careers department, I Heart Consent, LINKS First Aid, and collaborating with several other societies. Next year expect to see Voices plastered everywhere: whether it’s our concerts, our charity and volunteering work, or a social event like our glamorous Christmas Cocktails, you will want to be involved! We can’t wait to get working with as many other societies on campus as possible, think of more outrageous CIYS ideas (it’s going to be tough to beat our track record of Smurfs and minions!) and sing even more daring songs than our infamous six minute Queen medley. Our new committee are all incredibly devoted members and dedicated to pushing Voices higher up in the Roho rankings. We all have exactly the same vision for our choir: it is a society that is completely members-run so the members choose everything from the songs and choreography to where we have our socials to what charity we support each year. As our members are our priority, if they’re not happy, we’re not happy!
HOCKEY DOUBLE SUCCESS Off the back of their recent promotion to BUCS League 3A, Royal Holloway Mens Hockey 1st XI capped of an utterly outstanding season by finishing top of LUSL and being promoted to its Premier league. In front of a raucous crowd down on the Fortess Noble astro, the men in white, green and purple edged an enticing encounter 3-2 against Royal Vets to be crowned champions for the second time in only a matter of weeks. One thing for sure, about Sunday’s encounter, was that any person watching it was being served an absolute whopper of a game. Possession being shifted from side to side at pace, crunching tackles and big hitting, in truly one of the hardest games we have played all season. For the start of the game and, for most of the first half, we had to have patience. With the majority of play in the Vets half, we were playing nice hockey but were not getting our customary award of a few goals before the break, we looked dangerous but went in at 0-0. There were no nerves about throwing it away, just a little bit of frustration. But we were not to wait long for the breakthrough. After winning a short corner, Wass converted from the middle with a straight strike. We then started to carve through the Vets like a scythe through a field of reeds and starting playing with panache and verve. A beautiful team move saw the ball make it to Josh Wilson Holliday who unselfishly squared it to Josh Gray for an easy tap in. I do say easy, but I probably would have missed. Lets move on shall we. Well 2-0 and time definitely on our side, you would think we would have cruised to full time. Not the case. Vets won a short corner and converted it to make the tie interesting. Then, they could not believe their luck when a fortuitous ‘scuff’ from their striker looped over our goalie and made it 2-2. As it stood, they would win the league with that. How could we throw this away? Well this is when captains earn their pay as the saying goes and Ollie brought the lads in for a huddle and obviously said something to re-energise them. There were still a few minutes left and with seconds remaining we won a short. Could it be, could this be the time to get the winner?! Of course it was. The ball goes to the top for the straight strike and what does Wass do; he smashes it home. The crowd went wild. The subs bench, including myself, leaped up and got involved in the pile-on on the pitch. And there it was, champions again. We had done the double.
I’m going to make a bold claim: RHUL Sport is about to be known by Basketball. While our various other teams have been doing the Bears name extremely proud, RHUL Basketball is on the verge of explosion. Well on our way to staying remembered, our Women’s team has set University history by being the only team sport to ever advance to Premiership Playoffs in the BUCS League. It’s about to get more exciting. Our 2015-16 committee emphasizes ‘new’ as it is our only committee to be solely composed of Fresher’s. Another change—it’s mostly men, with 6 of our Men’s players (Svetoslav, Morgan Connor, Shaquille Majestic, Charles Barratt, Dovydas Sabaliauskas, Deon Chorley) and 2 of our Women’s (Charlie McDonnell, Latisha Powell). Our Men’s team this year is rife with potential, built mostly of first years with remarkable passion and talent. Deon Chorley is our new Men’s Captain to watch, a first-year
psychology student who is slightly older than the rest, and from the first instance of joining has demonstrated a capacity to lead. Latisha Powell, our new women’s captain, who is one of our two STARS players, a starting five player and has made immeasurable difference on the court. Our media front will be led by Charles Barratt, a film & media arts student, is on youtube with his own artwork (check this out https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=2DiPL2_ryYI). Shaquille Harvey is expanding our Bears family dynamic, by keeping an NBA presence, a ‘Sensei’ (pair with a fresher) program, and more. All of whom are safe in the hands of our new President, Charlie McDonnell, who among being the most eager fresher of all time, made several members of the team cry in her election speech all about the Bears love. All in all, we are about to grow beyond expectation. Keep watching.
SWIMMING THE CHANNEL A grand event commencing in June (22nd-29th) is RHUL Swimming Club’s highly anticipated challenge of its history as a sports club at Royal Holloway University, ‘The English Channel Relay Swim’. The team will depart from Dover and will swim alongside a boat for 21miles to Calais, France as a relay. It will be an engaging adventure and the opportunity of a lifetime for most as well as being one of the most difficult challenges known to man. In what will be a remarkable feat of human endurance, taking turns and help each other cross this stretch of sea.
The swimmers undertaking this Everest of a swim are: Isaac Kenyon, Ryan Hall, Elena Guthrie, Sidonie Bertrand-Shelton, David Comer, Bradley Tyler, Aiman Mallah, Jack Williams and Emma Dean. Not only will we be braving the chilly temperatures of the Channel, but we will also be navigating around shipping in one of the most congested Sea Lanes in the world, jellyfish and one of the strongest tides and currents in the ocean. Not a challenge for the faint of heart by any means, but we not only hope to prove ourselves we can do it, but also hope to raise as much money as we can to Help for Heroes, Surrey Dolphins Swimobility and Centrepoint (one of the RAG Surhul charities)! Any sponsors would be greatly appreciated. Below is our fundraising link and our target total is a whopping
£2000!! In addition Swimming is holding a fundraising launch night with Red Cup Thursdays on the 28th May at Medicine in aid of the 3 charities and accommodation for the week they are staying in Dover. www.virginmoneygiving.com/team/rhulenglishchannelrelayswim For more information on getting involved in these challenges drop us an email: email@example.com. Follow us on twitter: @RHULSwimClub, and check out our Instagram and Facebook pages.’
Contributors EDITOR Catriona O’Sullivan NEWS Laura Denham OPINION Hannah Partridge Laura Dowse ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT Vincent T Busselot Lukas Cooper FEATURES Emily O’Dowd Holly Pyne LIFESTYLE Buthania Sa’id SPORTS & SOCIETIES Sophie Harrison DESIGN Betty Fisher Becca Selby-Heard SUB-EDITOR Hannah Avery CO-PRESIDENT SOCIETIES & MEDIA Brianna Middleton Macpherson
Abbie Jones Abi Ratcliff Abi Turner Abigail Sanderson Aladin El-Anghoudi Alana Grady Aletha Adu Alex Eglington Alex Goode Alex Hobbs Alexandra Zuckermann Alia Shahrizan Alice Crick Alice Dodd Alice Mason Annisha Gungah Ayesha McMahon Bulkies Abeidah Camellia Hayes Carrie Mathieson Cassandra Kosmayer Charles Wade-Palmer Charley Scoggins Charlotte Crome Chloe Longdon Chloe Mackney Chloe Taylor Chloe Tetu Christina Pari Coco Majari Corranne Wheeler Dalia Alireza Daniel Jones Dione Howe Dom Baillie Douglas Knight Ele Walton Emily Bird Emma Bradley Emma Hudson Emma Leyland Eren Camus Eva Huang Evgeniya Shustova Felicity French Fern Whiles Gabby Tuzzeo Giulia Mantini Gwen Lewis
Hannah Close Hannah Davies Hannah Lempereur Hannah Parker Hannah Parrott Hannah Sayer Harry Brown Harry Crawford Heena Bhola Hippolyte Petit Hira Tahseen Ilias Pantazis Imogen Trinder Jack Kilker Jake Deeble Jake Gibbons James Draper Jamie Hammond Jemma de Jonge Jess Bantleman Jess Hines Jessica Conlon Jessica McKenna Jieying Wu Jude Salem Kaia Bint Savage Katherine Mosquera-Solano Katie Pattison Kirsty Simpson Kumar Sumeet Laura Davies Laura Lawrence Lauren Mooney Lexi Wang Lina Kurdi Lis Calton Lisa Thomas Loi Ianari Louisa Danquah Louise Jones Lucy Campbell Maddie Rakic-Platt Maria Fedina Maria Filippova Barnachinskaya Matthew Hopkins Mehmet Ari Michela Paganini
Michelangelo Fano Molly Harding Molly Harris Nadine Dyer Naomi Rune Natalie Brown Natalie Preston Nathalie Parry Naveena Jawanda Niamh Hanrahan Nicole O’Mahony Nina Minhard Nine Arakelyan Olivia Soulier Olivia Qi Zhang Patty Yu Polina Kato Rachel Ward Ramadan Yara Farag Rebecca Hilcox Rebecca Smith Rhiannon Lloyd Rory Caine Rose Tam Rosie Craine-Higgs Roswitha Trappe Saffron Amis Sam Howden-Glasgow Sara Dourado Carvalho Sarah Ryan Sasha Stone Saurav Chowdhury Scott Taylor Seb Gole Simran Chard Sophia Ernesti Sophia-alexia Efstathiou Stephanie Langton Stephanie Rendall Tanya Klyasova Taylor Small Thomas Vaughan Tom Harvey Tom McDonald Tomike Adeniji Umamah Ahmed Valerie Nikonova Wanting Wu Yasmin Michael
Presenting the 2015/16 board: EDITOR Catriona O’Sullivan
HEAD OF OPERATIONS Hayley Ashworth
DEPUTY EDITOR Laura Denham
HEAD OF PHOTOGRAPHY Saurav Chowdhury
NEWS Chloe Wright Louise Jones OPINION Holly Pyne Elizabeth Carr ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT Michelangelo Fano Lis Carlton FEATURES Tomike Adeniji Imogen Trinder LIFESTYLE Abigail Turner Nina Minhard SPORTS & SOCIETIES Corrie Wheeler
HEAD OF DESIGN Molly Harding HEAD OF MARKETING Askriti Gupta HEAD OF EVENTS Becca Selby-Heard HEAD OF WEBSITE Dylan Maryk CO-PRESIDENT SOCIETIES & MEDIA Brianna Middleton Machpherson VACANT POSITIONS Sub-Editor Head of Advertising Deputy Sports & Societies Editor
Want to get involved? Editor: Catriona O’Sullivan - firstname.lastname@example.org News: Laura Denham - email@example.com Opinion: Hannah Partridge - firstname.lastname@example.org Features Emily O’Dowd - email@example.com Lifestyle: Buthaina Sa’id - firstname.lastname@example.org Arts & Entertainment: Vincent Busselot - email@example.com Sports & Socs: Sophie Harrison - firstname.lastname@example.org